Chennai based indie rock band – The F16’s is a group of five individuals in their twenties who put their mark on India’s indie music scene with post-punk revival. While their official SoundCloud page says (their Facebook page lists quite a lot) that they are influenced by many post-punk revival and indie bands like Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Jet and The Black Keys, the influence of the blues rock duo, The Black Keys, is not quite seen. But their album Kaleidoscope, a seven track EP, is heavily influenced by the tunes of the first three bands from their list. Though this doesn’t make them less original for they have some crunchy tunes enriched with electronic music, powerful vocals with little harmonies here and there and shrill, thrashing guitar riffs and harmonies. But what comes out as the highlight for the band is their amazing breakdowns in the later few songs.
Their EP kicks off with a short Prelude. A dose of electronic music with the shrill solo leads on the high strings, the band gives a straight message of what the listeners can expect from their album. With a bit of reverb and delay, this guitar style remains intact throughout their album.
Their prelude makes way for their opening song Light Bulbs. This soft song with melodious vocals is their most popular song from the EP. The catchy cowbell near the end adds the extra touch.
Avalanche begins with a two chord keyboard and guitar arpeggio progression followed by a great solo riff which forms the verse. The chorus has fast, pumping power chords and high-pitched vocals. The entire structure of Avalanche makes it quite an addicting song.
King’s Dream is your garage rock song of the album. It opens with the famous lines of Martin Luther King’s speech. But just as the bass begins, one cannot unsee the striking similarities that the song has with Are You Gonna Be My Girl? by Jet. A bit on the Franz Ferdinand side as well, this crunchy number is most energetic and upbeat song in the album having the typical screeching punk vocals in it.
And it is here, after King’s Dream that the band showcase their post-punk revival. The Arctic Monkeys (their earlier albums) in them is quite visible in the last three tracks. An interesting thing about Kaleidoscope is the track list. With the lighter songs coming first, the last three tracks show the true potential of the band. Each song has a variety of different guitar harmonies and shrill beats giving them a kick-ass end.
Who Robbed the Rogue? is my favourite from the EP and has the best ending. It includes some cool vocal harmonies ranging from lows to highs and ends with a fantastic solo reminding one of the dark song, Pretty Visitors by Arctic Monkeys.
Their longest song My Shallow Lover has some bright guitar harmonies and a breakdown beginning softly and ending on a high note giving you the goosebumps.
The EP ends with Nuke, another better song in the album, and like the name itself, ends with an amazing breakdown with a bang.
The F16’s strength lies on the later three songs. By focusing on songs like My Shallow Lover, Nuke and Light Bulbs, and by bringing in more bass, they can create one exciting album. And this being a young band, it would be interesting to find out how their music grows in the coming years.
With many indie bands already making their mark these recent years from the likes of Sky Rabbit, The Bicycle Days on alternative rock, Sulk Station on electronic music, The F16’s have a good future ahead and have already joined the club of the rising indie stars in India.
P.S. Can’t wait to see them live.