January 26, 2023

It was only last year that Girish & The Chronicles released their third album being the jaw-dropping hard rock and anthemic Hail To The Heroes and the first on a major label which meant introducing this extraordinary Indian band to a much wider audience.

To briefly recap, the group was formed in the city of Gangtok in 2009 having since relocated to Bangalore in the southern state of Karnataka. They put out their debut release, Back To Earth, in 2014 with Rock The Highway coming in 2020 leading to the triumphant Hail To The Heroes. This simply blew me away being a thunderous hard rock album that packs a real punch with exceptional songs and a performance that is nothing short of outstanding. The sound is born out of ’70s British heavy rock and the aggression of hard and fast NWOBHM with lots of riffs, sumptuous Def Leppard harmonies, the power of Whitesnake and the rock and roll swagger of Aerosmith.

Vocalist and rhythm guitarist Girish Pradhan has a delivery very reminiscent of a young David Coverdale and he is outstanding when screaming those trademark high notes with accompanying guitar histrionics from the amazing Suraz Sun who can riff and solo with just about any guitar god you can think of. The pairing of Yogesh Pradhan (bass and keyboards) and Nagen Nags (drums) is inspired and they make for a tight and rocking unit which allows Pradhan and Sun to provide the real fireworks. Truly, if you did not pick up on Hail To The Heroes then you are urged to check it out as it is a monster album!

So, very rapidly and most sensibly the band and label has decided to follow on from the success of the new album by putting out a re-recorded version of the debut release to show where the band has come form and the direction they are taking in what fully deserves to be a stellar career in the metal business. Rather interestingly, the band decided to re-record rather than remaster which has really meant keeping most of the original vocal takes and concentrating on the music and shows the developments that this has taken after so many years of honing the songs and interpreting them on stage. The first album remains an exciting release but this re-working gives it a power, might and majesty with, according to Pradhan, the addition of ‘new breakdowns, chord sequences, solos, and bass and drum parts…that make them feel closer to where we are now’. Vocally, only the tracks Angel and Loaded have been re-recorded and, again according to Pradhan, the album ‘stays true to the spirit of the songs however it is closer to the vision we had back in the day’. I guess it is nice to re-write history and, let’s face it, have you ever met a musician who does not relish the prospect to tinker with their older material in the never-ending search for perfection?

This new vision makes for one hell of an album with Girish & The Chronicles again announcing themselves as a band on a mission and one that every true rock fan needs to be aware of. Ideal as a companion release to the new work and very interesting to hear the revamped work against the original but whichever album you listen to or even prefer is up to you but the critical point is that you do listen and you will most certainly not be disappointed by a band that well and truly puts Indian rock on the map!

Back On Earth

  1. Ride To Hell (5:39)
  2. Loaded (5:30)
  3. Born with a Big Attitude (5:32)
  4. Shot by the Cupid
  5. Touched by the Devil (4:33)
  6. Angel (4:25)
  7. I Wanna Get that Lovin’ Again (4:50)
  8. Hey You (2:49)
  9. Yesteryears (6:37)
  10. Smile Little Child (3:48)
  11. The Revolving Barrel (6:16)
  12. The Golden Crown (3:02)
  13. End of Civilization (5:33)

Back On Earth is available for pre-order now via Frontiers Records and will be released on 27 January 2023