Wednesday, January 16, 2008

OAG: Permysuri (review)

OAG is local alternative rock band. There isnt much writeup about them online, and even their official website is not updated. They may have passed their hayday, but hey, it's all about the music, and they are by far my favourite local alternative band. In a typical song, smooth guitar riffs, warm bass, and 8-beat percussion accompany the lead singer's (Radhi) exceptionally emotive voice. A surprising number of songs in this album have a certain "timelessness" that I feel would make it a good listen in decades to come.

The opening song, Permysuri (Track 01), is a song sung by a guy to his new wife, his princess (Permaisuri in malay). It opens with a very warm bass line, and maintains a strong positive tone throughout the song. The song feels like it was made by someone who just found paradise - even people who dont understand malay would feel it.

Ya know how relationships go stale? Indifference is the antithesis of love. Slumber (Track 02) is all about that. Radhi laments the process of a breakup. Less lively and very much laid back compared to the other songs on the CD. There are points of tension between laid back laments.

"selamba sayang kau berfoya foya, kau selalu bertanya tanya, ke mana hilangnya minda? ke mana arah tujuan ku? tujuan mu?"

Biru (Track 16). This is my favourite track in the whole album! Flawless harmonics, catchy melody and poetic lyrics makes this one very timeless piece. "her gaze.. pierces my shadow.". Tension after a breakup. The indifference that hurts, and makes you feel blue. This song is so well vocalized/composed by Radhi that you get the feel that his ex is in the audience and he is singing to both her and the audience. He also manages to pull of a resigned tone of voice while singing the lyrics. That is some feat. Poetry and expression in this song is par excellence.

"apakah ini semua? dari awal hingga akhirnya...
yang tak menentu... kau terseksa... ku terharu...
memandangnya... terangkanlah, untuk dia,
terangkanlah, untuk ku.
kenapa ku tak selalu menghampir mu, dan selalu oh -
inikah yang ku terima? ..
kau berlalu tanpa suara,
pandangan mu,
pandangannya, menembusi bayangan ku..."

60's TV (track 03), The Name of The Game (track 04) and Knocked Silly (track 13) have that nice upbeat alternative rock feel. Track 20 is an accoustic, malay version called TV 60-an.

Stereokumonomu (track 09)is my second favourite song of the album. Beautiful guitar harmonics along with reverberating drums. The vocals are modified, "metalized" so to speak, to make them go with the instruments with even more harmony. A great uplifting song.

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