Well, colour me surprised! I started playing this debut release by the melodic rock band About Us and was expecting it to be an American, Swedish or British outfit as these countries tend to be the ‘traditional’ home of all things melodic rock. I most certainly was not expecting that the home nation would be India as this is not a country I would normally have associated with an AOR release. The band hails from the state of Wokha in Nagaland and formed as recently as 2019 with the debut originally released in India in 2021 with the band picking up many awards in their homeland in the process. This eventually led to About Us being picked up by the Frontiers label and now the debut has been given a global release and is sure to surprise so many melodic rock fans due to the maturity of the band and their perfectly written and superbly delivered AOR.
The band features Sochan Kikon on vocals, Renlamo Lotha and Pona Kikon on guitars, Soren Kikon on bass, Renbomo Yanthan on keyboards and Yanni Ennie on drums with their collective love and appreciation of all things AOR being the catalyst that brought them together. Whilst it is almost impossible to bring anything new to the genre the band does introduce a freshness, vitality and enthusiasm which spills over into their performance so much so that you can sense the joy running through the music. Sochan Kikon has a great voice which is accent free and he provides the perfect focal point for the band as he commands central stage perfectly and handles the harder hitting tracks and the ballads perfectly which can be perfectly seen on the quite exquisite Open Your Heart which is anthemic stadium rock at its best. He is ably supported by the rest of the band with the guitarists and keyboard player expressing their skills perfectly with the drums and bass being ever so solid and dependable. The guitar solos are sublime and beautifully controlled with the emphasis on melody and harmony throughout. There are many influences on the band’s style, mostly from the American giants, and this has led to the band having a sound somewhere between Journey and Dokken and they are certainly not afraid to up the tempo and flirt with metal as is showcased on the punchy track Golden Troops.
About Us may be a new and young group but they are fully formed and have the talents and skills required to be with us for a very long time with this debut release being an almost perfect start to their career. Give it a listen, I guarantee you will be both surprised and impressed.
- Right Now (4:48)
- Gimme Gimme (4:07)
- Lead My Heart (3:39)
- Our Fairyland (4:02)
- Loaded Love (5:38)
- Rock On Top (4:05)
- Rise (5:21)
- Golden Troops (3:32)
- Open Your Heart (5:03)
- Love And Affection (Bonus Track) (4:03)
About Us is available to buy and stream on Frontiers Records now