Review Summary: Alright I’ll get to the funking point, this grooves like nobody’s business and has been my recent addiction. “It’s driving me INSAAAANE!”
Keeray Makoray is a young Pakistani Progressive/Funk Rock band started by a group of friends with a desire to compose poignant English Rock music. They’re a bunch of very technically adept players, as demonstrated in their other more recognised Progressive Metal/Djent band Takatak
, but they leave those technical tricks in their locker in exchange for soul.
‘Funky’ and ‘groovy’ are two words that constantly hover in mind while traversing through Island in the City's
23 minute duration. The guitar work is extremely tasteful, whether it be in the form of melodic rhythms or rich leads A variety of clean tones are on display here, as well as sumptuous effects, and the ever so reliable Wah pedal. Saxophonist Jibraan Saeed guests on here and is just brilliant. Doubling the rhythms at places, while playing tastefully phrased solos other times, but most importantly always remaining melodic. Subtle flourishes of keyboard patches sprinkled across the EP also contribute to the album’s alluring aesthetic. Nothing’s overdone here, and every musician is given ample space to leave a mark in the compositions.
Vocalist Altamash Sever is a powerhouse and uses his full range here. The songs provide him with the perfect platform to shift from playful & catchy melodic lines to raspy high pitched screams, while scattering harmonies across the album. My only gripe is that at times he strains his voice too much, which can be grating. Still young, his voice will only continue to improve, as well as his use of it. There are so many satisfying performances on here, including the groovy bass playing throughout the album, but the drumming is just cosmic. Though Daud Ramay possesses immense technical ability, here he exclusively channels his spirit of groove and drive, constantly supplying infectious beats, rhythms, and fills. [In. The. Pocket.] The fact that his drums sound great doesn’t hurt either.
Island in the City
nearly resembles a movie in its pacing; introducing you to the characters and setting the tone with “Noni” before throwing a wave of emotions; first with the intense & aptly named “Sun” followed by the moody instrumental “Ebb”, ultimately leading to the climax delivered by the title track (which exemplifies everything that's great about this band and is a must listen), and finally ending with the sort of “cigarette after sex” moment in “Sun.” Although this pacing is absorbing, the sonic aesthetic is a little too consistent, and unfortunately that’s a bit of a leash for this EP. Distorted guitar tones do make an appearance, but it’s close to a cameo, which is a shame since a larger presence would have brought some more variety to proceedings. The saxophone could also have been integrated even more in the form of melodies and leads. Mix wise the album is a bit erratic as well. In some places it feels expansive and layered, while at other times it can feel congested. It doesn’t severely hamper the listening experience, but it certainly could have augmented it with a consistently spacious mix.
Having said all that this album is still very enjoyable, and at only 23 minutes it's not a taxing listen either. The great George Carlin even makes a cameo appearance as an Easter egg. Well done boys, very well done.
1. Island in the City
The band's SPOTIFY page:
1. Island in the City (MUSIC VIDEO)
2. Full EP [22:55]