GIRISH & THE CHRONICLES – Rock The Highway (2020)
If you’d told me even just a few hours ago that my new favorite modern ’80s-style hard rock band would be from Gangtok, India, I’d have told you to go lie down and make sure you don’t have a delusion-inducing fever.
But yeah, to be released by reputed Lions Pride Music, “Rock The Highway” is the international debut album of GIRISH & THE CHRONICLES, an Indian band doing ’80s (Melodic) Hard Rock better than pretty much anyone else.
Think a mix of early Gotthard, Lion, Hurricane, Skid Row and alike, and you get GIRISH & THE CHRONICLES.
This shit is tight, son. It sounds exactly like something Riki Rachtman woulda played on Headbanger’s Ball in the late ’80s or early ’90s, and I mean that in the best possible way.
You want a larger-than-life multi-tracked riffs (greatly recorded & mixed by the way). You got it, babe. You want a strong hook? These are so strong it’ll tear your head clean off if you try to fight it.
You want incredible Robert Plant / Rob Rock-style vocals and lyrics about the awesome power of ROCK? Frontman Girish Pradhan is so good he’ll be turning down the chance to front Skid Row in no time (just listen to track #4).
You want a killer sexy shred solo played on a Les Paul? Lead guitarist Suraz Sun is happy to oblige. I could also write multiple love sonnets just about the way bassist Yogesh Pradhan moves while playing his almost-surprisingly-funky bass lines and how drummer Nagen Mongrati can actually pull off the aviator glasses and vest-with-no-shirt look.
The band has a keyboardist, too — Krishh Dutta — and I can’t really hear him very well in the mix all over the album, but whatever, I assume he’s also doing something awesome.
There’s a lot of variation too; don’t expect your ‘by numbers’ hard rock here.
Songs like ‘The Sikkimese Dream (Rock ‘n’ Roll Wonderland)’ are very elaborated with unique twists, ‘Bad Shepherd’ adds some edge in the vein of Impelliteri’s melodic side, and a song titled ‘She’s Heavy Metal’ speaks by itself: like Skid Row on steroids.
The quite heavy ‘Trapped Inside a Mirror’ adds progressive elements, midtempo ‘Wounded’ provide atmosphere, ‘Tears of the Phoenix’ is groove melodic monster, and for the end we have a solid acoustic number in ‘Walking the Line’.
So yeah, this might be my new favorite band. Perhaps due they come from an atypical country for this type of music, but believe me, these guys kills.
They are original, they are consummate songwriters, fabulous musicians, and yeah, production is huge, crisp.
01 – Rock the Highway
02 – Every Night, Like Tonight
03 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Here to Stay
04 – The Distance Between
05 – The Sikkimese Dream (Rock ‘n’ Roll Wonderland)
06 – Bad Shepherd
07 – She’s Heavy Metal
08 – The Rebel
09 – Trapped Inside a Mirror
10 – Wounded
11 – Tears of the Phoenix
12 – Identity Crisis
13 – Walking the Line
Girish Pradhan – vocals
Suraz Sun – guitars
Yogesh Pradhan – bass
Nagen Mongrati – drums
Krishh Dutta – keyboards