GATC (Girish and the Chronicles) return this 2023 to give a second chance to what was their 2014 debut album “Back on Earth”
Today’s album, Back on Earth, dates back to 2014. Listening to it for the first time in 2023 and unraveling it with today’s perspective, comes as a strange act. It is something like traveling in the Delorean but in a model with electric batteries.
Back on Earth was the debut of the Bengaluru band, released in its day by Universal Music India had a local distribution, so its diffusion was somewhat scarce.
Their second album, Rock the Highway, was released by an independent international company and although it had a relatively small distribution, it already put the Indians on the map, which together with the globality of the networks made them be heard in every corner of the planet.
And they certainly must have made quite a noise when Frontiers welcomed them into the company to offer them a new release. I’d like to think that the Italian glimpsed the potential of this diamond in the rough and therefore, decided to give this debut a new chance.
We could infer after listening to Rock The Highway and Hail To The Heroes, that this first album would be in the same tune and although it is certainly a similar line has a great influence on the consecrated groups of the late eighties.
They are undoubtedly indebted to American bands like Guns and Roses, Aerosmith, Dokken or Judas, it is also fair to say that although they have been able to emulate them, the compositions are of high caliber, themes that decades ago would have made them compete with other bands of the same generation.
Back On Earth has been taken out of the trunk, dusted off and put a little more polished to give it a second chance and it has been worth it.
Most of the tracks on the album were singles, built during the band’s 2009-2013 era although some of the tracks are new and vocals have been recorded on two tracks, as indicated by singer Girish:
“…We always felt we had technical challenges in the past and couldn’t deliver the hard-hitting sound we had originally envisioned, so we introduced some new breakdowns, chord sequences, solos, and bass and drum parts on these songs that make them feel closer to where we are now. However, we didn’t want to mess around with the vocals, so I only re-recorded the vocals on ‘Angel’ and ‘Loaded’. Overall, it all sounds quite different from the 2014 version, but overall, it stays true to the spirit of the songs, however, we feel it’s closer to the vision we had back then.”
The first preview we heard was “Loaded” accompanied by its corresponding promotional video shot today, to illustrate the track, that piercing opening riff, Girish Pradhan’s natural gift, that vocal talent that has led him to be compared to Ray Gillen himself make this piece authentically wild.
“Ride To Hell” was the second advance and it is pure gold, just for this track alone it is worth buying the album, it clearly describes the sound of the band, those explosive guitars, those rhythmic bases burning like hell.
“Born With A Big Attitude”, reminded me a lot of Guns n Roses from their Appetite, even in Axl Rose’s vocal modes.
“Shot By The Cupid”, Touched By The Devil where Suraz performs some thrashy riffs on an old school rock track.
“Angel” was the first song the band created, its melody was composed in 2008, and it is a cliché of the typical 80’s power ballad, where Girish ventures into softer territory, but without losing its grit.
“I Wanna Get That Lovin’ Again” guitars a la Megadeth, reminds me of the style of Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Here to Stay, with some melodic choruses that elegantly sweeten the song.
“Hey You”, is more corrosive and within a more bluesy standard, and with the piercing guitars of Suraz Sun, this guy will reach very high, we have the new Jake and Lee, not only for his way of playing, even physically giving an air.
“Yesteryears” second ballad, that can remind you of mythical bands like Aerosmith.
In the same vein, “Smile Little Child” the third ballad in the same vein, they have shown that they know how to do them, and rightly so, but this attachment to the ballad in Back On Earth splits in two the vitality of the album.
The rhythm is revitalized again with another blues cut, this time with “The Revolving Barrel”.
“Golden Crown” is the song of some teenagers Girish and Yogesh that was intended to be a jingle for a local soccer championship.
Closing the album is the hard-hitting “End Of Civilization”, not suitable for sensitive ears, as they can be as heavy as they are skilled with ballads.
In conclusion, we had the privilege to verify last summer in Zurbarán Rock that they are able to reproduce the magic of their recordings in pure adrenaline live and fortunately, we will have them again this 2023, in the same location.
Back on Earth has made us know the origin of this band that was already aiming high back in 2014 and continues to grow, while we are waiting for a fourth album that will give them the final push to raise them as one of the best rock bands of the new generation.
Review by Alicia Albertos