Banglamotorr: Bangladeshi Indie-Rock’s New Brainchild


M U S I C – L O C A L 


Ayaz Hamid


The rock genre has always been an endearing part of contemporary music culture in Bangladesh, even amidst this era of electronic pop music and mumble rap. One would expect rock bands to fade into relative obscurity in today’s world, but digital music formats and media have ensured that underground rock bands gain even more popularity via streaming platforms and YouTube. Banglamotorr is one of these emerging bands who possess the vision (and the skills) to make a potential mark in the genre. They have only produced two singles as of now, with the last one being released on April 2020. However, their prolific work when it comes to lyrical and stylistic aspects of music, have managed to express themselves in the most promising form, despite them producing merely two songs as of March 2021.

The indie rock band’s current lineup consists of bassist Ratul (who played in “The Only Way Out is Through”), drummer Mubarak Milon, guitarist Baivab Titam, and most noticeably, Zubair Hasan, the vocalist and lead guitarist of the band whom fans of the band Indalo might recognise instantaneously. The band got its name from a practice pad in Bangla Motor where the band members jammed out. All of them are seasoned musicians and draw in inspiration from works of Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, and many others. Banglamotorr’s capacity for experimentation when it comes to both lyrics and tonal structure is seen firsthand in their debut single “Lucid”, which is an absolute gem of a grunge rock piece. The psychedelic qualities of the tune with its slow beats evolving into a faster tempo in the chorus along with the soft yet menacing guitar riffs are reminiscent of works from Nirvana and Radiohead.

The lyrics are in English, a quality that stands in contrast to the naturally Bangali dominated rock scene, but the reason for this linguistic disparity is the band’s attempt to make their current and future works go global. Nevertheless, the lyrics are strongly familiar to Jim Morrison’s hallucinogenic and magical words during his tenure with “The Doors”; one may only listen to “The End” by The Doors to notice what I am talking about. This diverse array of qualities complemented with other styles from bands of the rock and roll genre serve as a testament to Banglamotorr’s ability and incentives to explore and incorporate change in their pieces.

The second and last entry on their song last (as of now) “Only Way Out is Through” proves itself to be another amazing piece. The thematic difference from “Lucid” lies in the fact that this single drifts more towards being a piece with conspicuously fast tempo complemented with thundering riffs and mellifluous solos. Zubair’s haunting voice makes it even better and just like Lucid, the lyrics are top-notch. The song seems to let off some steam around the 3:40 mark with it getting slower as if to let the listener recover before finishing off the song in the most Queens of The Stone Age way possible. There’s a strong Arctic Monkeys vibe too, to this song specifically, with its fast paced guitar riffs and drawn out vocal style. In terms of lyrical qualities, Banglamotorr’s lyrics in both their songs are highly open to interpretation to the audience, a dynamic quality which further adds to the merits of the pieces.

If you are a fan of the rock-and-roll genre and early to mid 2000s grunge rock, you’ll most assuredly love Banglamotorr’s works. Whatever the band tries to do in their songs, they pull it off well with tasty solos, orgasmic vocals, and grungy riffs that will make the audience crave for more. In spite of the band having produced merely two singles, this is indeed a promising start and if Banglamotorr persists in doing a phenomenal job with their future songs as they did with “Lucid” and “Only Way Out is Through”, they may very well make a substantial mark in the country’s rock-n-roll arena, and hopefully in the near future, the global rock industry.

 


Ayaz is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur who also happens to dabble in songwriting from time to time. Hit him up at [email protected] if you can tolerate an annoying Bob Dylan fan-boy fawning over fancy words.   

           

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