These bands hold the fort when it comes to Indian rock
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These bands hold the fort when it comes to Indian rock

Indian rock scene has also produced numerous bands and artists

These bands hold the fort when it comes to Indian rock

New Delhi: Rock is one of the most famous genres of music. It has a history of 79 years. Rock made its emergence in the 1950s as rock and roll in the United States. In India, the genre had some combination inbuilt with Indian classical music. Indian rock is a genre of rock music incorporating elements of Indian music and is often topically India-centric. India is more often known for its northern and southern classical music, Bollywood music, and Indipop. But the Indian rock scene has also produced numerous bands and artists.

The current Indian rock scene has a larger following than ever and may soon become recognised worldwide. India has produced many rock bands, some of whom have made it into mainstream Indian music. Indian Ocean has their own style. While they are a rock band, they try to fuse their art with Indian music. Agnee is also hugely celebrated. Euphoria, a rock band from Delhi is most famous band in India. Their unique style of music with mixed electric guitar and traditional  instruments like the tabla, dholak and sitar helped them gain an audience.

1. Indian Ocean – Formed: 1990

Indian Ocean originally sprang from a musical friendship that originated during the eighties, between Asheem Chakravarty – who  played table and drums – and Susmit Sen on guitar. Bass guitarist Rahul Ram joined the band in 1991. They worked towards forging a sound reflective of their interest in eastern and western music, producing Indian folk, jazz and rock. Many of their  songs were centred on themes of social and political protest. Songs like ‘Kandisa’ and ‘Bandeh’ from the early days are foot-tapping crowd-pleasers. They have also worked more recently on uncommon and eclectic pieces like ‘Tandanu’, from the 2014 album of the same name. The album showcases them at their most versatile and virtuosic. It includes lyrics in five languages and Indian instruments like the tabla, kanjira and a one-of-a-kind Hindustani slide guitar.

2. Agnee – Formed: 2006

Agnee is an Indian rock band from Pune. The band was formed in 2006. Their debut album, Agnee, was released in 2007. Agnee is known for its deeply-rooted Indian sound, hummable tunes, live wire performances, and has released a series of super hits including Sadho Re, Kabira, the Splitsvilla Theme Song and the Roadies Theme Song.

3. Parikrama – Formed: 1991

Parikrama came together in 1991 and incorporated Indian percussion instruments like the tabla and mridangam, alongside melodic instruments like the flute and sitar. Parikrama have so far proved to  be rather independent spirits, opting to not release a studio album. They prefer instead, to perform live or release their music free of cost. This inevitably adds to their popularity. ‘But It Rained’  touched the hearts of the nation and Parikrama were surprised to find a 40,000 strong audience singing along with them when they opened for Iron Maiden. The founding member and lead guitarist Sonam Sherpa died at the age 48 last year.

4 Euphoria- Formed: 1988

If you were around in the ’90s, you would possibly remember the band’s song Dhoom Pichuck Dhoom, released as part of its debut album in 1998. The popularity of the “Hindi rock band” formed by medical student Palash Sen skyrocketed after its release. In 2001, Euphoria played at the UN, along with Pakistani band Junoon.

5. Avial – Formed: 2003

The Avial band’s music is a fusion of native folk music and alternative rock from Kerala. The band is named after the popular South Indian dish Avial. There are very few local language bands and  Avial is become the first ever alternative Malayali rock band. Another famous rock band in Kerala is MotherJane, formed in 1996 and knows for different styles like progressive rock and Carnatic music.

Sumit  Pal
Sumit Pal
285 Days Ago

Great list. Also, if you look a little towards the east of India, there are great bands which sang in local language and were legendary game changers. Fossils from Kolkata ruled the charts for long (the airplay they received was more than any rock band would have received anywhere).