Goddess Gagged
Resurfaces


3.5
great

Review

by SitarHero USER (36 Reviews)
October 24th, 2012 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: India gets serious about modern Prog

There's a pretty standard and established template for rock bands in India to establish themselves. This path looks something like this:

Step 1: College students are drawn together by their shared interest in loud guitars. They form a band and enter the uber-competitive college music competition circuit.
Step 2: Through constant competition and evolving interests and tastes, line-ups change and solidify, and musical chops improve.
Step 3: The band begins moving from covers to originals and builds a fanbase among other like-minded college students. The band may also begin performing semi-professionally at local venues.
Step 4: Upon graduation, the band may break-up or turn semi-professional; performing paying gigs whenever possible but almost always without any kind of major-label hopes. Some band members may make forays into commercial music

However, Goddess Gagged has bucked this trend by foregoing the college competition circuit. Although the members are college-aged, they've already managed put out an album of originals as well as performing at some of India's biggest music festivals and bagging an invitation for the opening slot on a (sadly, cancelled) Korn concert in Bombay.

Perhaps the most confusing thing about Goddess Gagged is their characterization of themselves as a Post-Hardcore band. They even take their name from a Protest the Hero song and guest vocals of the harsh Hardcore kind make an occasional appearance. But, for the most part, the band comes off as a Prog-leaning Post-Grunge band, like Breaking Benjamin, but more experimental and far less whiny. The only songs which really display the Post-Hardcore allegiance are album book-ends 'Modern Machines' and 'Preliminary Stages of the Master Plan' but even these songs are softened by the vocal melodies.

Lead singer Siddharth Basrur sounds something like a combination of 3 Doors Down frontman Brad Arnold and Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump, if that makes sense. Tonally, and in some of his vocal inflections, he's closer to the former but with better range and his melodies follow similar lines to both. While Basrur does have a very good voice, he fails to come up with any truly memorable vocals on the album and ends up inadvertently contributing to the songs running together a little too much.

Most of the hooks on the album are provided by guitarists Devesh Dayal (who also serves as a touring guitarist for Indian breakouts, Skyharbor) and Arman Menzies. While there are no guitar solos per se, there are catchy lead guitar lines galore, some very memorable riffs, punctuated by Meshuggah-by-way-of-Cloudkicker djent breakdowns and Porcupine Tree-meets-Karnivool atmospheric interludes. The rhythm section of Jeremy D'Souza (drums) and Krishna Jhaveri (bass) is tight, powerful and technically proficient without ever cluttering up the music. An example of this can be seen on 'Sink or Swim' where the drums and bass play off the guitars beautifully.

Because of the guitars carrying the bulk of the melodic load, the album's standout tracks are the ones with the most memorable guitar lines providing the melodic themes of the songs. In particular, 'Sink or Swim's lead guitar has an exotic feel and is almost instantly hummable, while 'Dreamer' segues from a pretty sweet opening riff/lick to ethereal middle section before cleverly reprising the intro for an outro.

The level of production on the album is quite stunning for what seems to be a DIY production job. The production is crystal clear with vocals, guitars and drums all kicking, hitting and cutting exactly the way they should. Only the bass gets lost a little bit in the mix, which is a shame, because there are some pretty interesting basslines on display.

Overall, the album showcases an immensely promising young band but also shows that it has room to grow, primarily in the vocal hooks department.

Highlights:
Dreamer
Sing or Swim
Visionary



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user ratings (6)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
DatsNotDaMetulz (4)
A young band from India with a lot of potential put out a credible first release....



Comments:Add a Comment 
SitarHero
October 24th 2012


6062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

One of the Indian bands that I feel has the most potential to break out to an international audience. You can stream the whole album at goddessgagged.com, or, you know, buy it!

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 24th 2012


25173 Comments


Lead singer Siddharth Basrur sounds something like a combination of 3 Doors Down frontman Brad Arnold and Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump

Lost interest right there

Digging: Belle and Sebastian - How To Solve Our Human Problems Pt. 1

Funeralopolis
October 24th 2012


14081 Comments


protest the hero band name too

Digging: Carpe Noctem - In Terra Profugus

ThyCrossAwaits
October 24th 2012


3364 Comments


I really really hate when bands name themselves after another band's song

except for Boris

Digging: Macronympha - Intensive Care

Brostep
Emeritus
October 24th 2012


4314 Comments


Not a bad review at all, have a pos

And Cross I love your avatar

SitarHero
October 24th 2012


6062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Sowing Season: Yeah, that's pretty much the weakest thing about the music for me too. He's got a good voice, in tone and range, but it's kind of...boring. The band deserves a listen though.



@Cross and Funeralopolis: I still think it's a pretty good choice for a name.



@Brostep: Many thanks!

SitarHero
October 24th 2012


6062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just checked back on this review and realised I double posted. Sputnik is certainly...buggy. Anyone

else have the problem with constantly losing reviews to the ether when you hit submit? At least

it teaches you a lesson in backing-up your work.

DatsNotDaMetulz
June 28th 2013


3400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Devesh has said he's gonna send over a CD when he's in the UK with Skyharbor. What a lad.

SitarHero
June 28th 2013


6062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet! The music scene here is tight. Most musicians are still bros. :] Glad it's workin' out.

SitarHero
January 10th 2014


6062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well looks like GG is done. It was a good run, while it lasted.

DatsNotDaMetulz
January 10th 2014


3400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Ah that sucks.. I was repping them pretty hard in the UK and then in last month's Metal Hammer they finally got a mention in the UK press in a Skyharbor article but I guess with 2 members of the band now focussing on Skyharbor it was always gonna be tough keeping both bands going.

DatsNotDaMetulz
January 10th 2014


3400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Well they say it's an "indefinite hiatus" which means they haven't ruled out a return. Plus they keep playing new songs live so my hope is maybe they'll release a final EP or what they have done first.

SitarHero
January 10th 2014


6062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They'll get together and do a show every now and again for kicks, but they're pretty much done as a 'band' for the foreseeable future. From what I hear, apart from Devesh going to Berklee, Siddharth is focusing on his solo stuff, Armaan is focusing on becoming a DJ and Jeremy is moving to Los Angeles for a course at the Musicians Institute. So it's anyone's guess how often they're going to be in the same zip code, let alone find the time to write and record.

DatsNotDaMetulz
January 10th 2014


3400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I'll just pray that they recorded these new tracks (cos there's a good 2 or 3, a farewell single or mini-EP would be nice) already or will do before they all split up

SitarHero
January 11th 2014


6062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The band has basically been on hiatus for several months now, doing very occasional shows. This just sort of confirms it. The most they have recorded is probably going to be demos. Still, I guess that's better than nothing.

DatsNotDaMetulz
September 12th 2015


3400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

https://lastremaininglight.bandcamp.com/releases



Siddharth's new band, much more alt-rock and laid back.

DatsNotDaMetulz
December 1st 2015


3400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

They've been teasing a potential reunion on Facebook. Something to keep an eye out for.

SitarHero
December 2nd 2015


6062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, they'll probably do a one-off show in Mumbai when Skyharbor gets off tour.

DatsNotDaMetulz
December 2nd 2015


3400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Would be better if Skyharbor took Goddess Gagged out as a support act imo.

SitarHero
December 2nd 2015


6062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Probably wouldn't be that hard considering how much the bands overlap. Krishna Jhaveri plays for pretty much every prog band in Mumbai right now. You should check out Pangea and Sundog Project too.



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