Ferocious Ladoos- Undone

Ferocious Ladoos
                                                     The Melodies Crash Over Me!
There were only two occasions in the last 20 years or so when I have been really moved by an album as a completely new listener- not as a fan (please note). The first one that did that to me was Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer’ and then it is this album- ‘Undone’ by the trio from West London called The Ferocious Ladoos.

The band comprises of Bob Loyal (chief songwriter and multi-instrumentalist), Huck Auluck (guitarist) and Faisal Malik (bassist). ‘Undone’ was undertaken as a 90-day project in which I heard the band members, took a break from their regular jobs to focus completely on the making of the album. Such is the dedication of the band members and the results show very clearly on this record. It just shows why making of this album must have been so important for them. It is a conceptual piece of work. On listening repeatedly, I can sense a romantic but a tragic sentiment to the album. There are various aspects of love and personal outlook on life expressed here – betrayal, new discovery and a promise of unrequited love. All this when conveyed through Bob’s soothing and passionate vocals create a picture in my mind of a movie where the central character is intoxicated but is opening up everything about his experiences and feelings.

The sounds are all very skillfully treated and arranged. Nothing sounds rushed here yet at the same time there are some infectious rhythms that blend both organic and electronic styles. The music is adventurous and takes one on a journey. The album starts aptly with dramatic ‘Bring on the Rain’, unleashing that background and atmosphere for the story to commence. There is a lilting xylophone/vibraphone motif that extends that overall tension in the song. Imagine standing on a beach with rocks all around and waves crashing, rain falling and thunderstorms erupting in the sky. My favourites on this album are the hauntingly beautiful pop perfection in the form of a song called ‘Your Melody’, the uplifting but surprisingly twisted ‘Free My Mind’, the harmonium-electronic drum driven duet with a female singer called Julieta Luca on ‘The Girl with the Broken Smile’ and ‘Heart of Me’ (a track written by Huck that is full of brilliant rhythmic ideas countered with a dazzlingly hypnotic guitar work). Faisal’s bass work is very tight on the whole album and it sits so perfectly in the mix. It is not overplayed at all. All the songs are individually special in my opinion.

The instrumentation is rich but well layered. So, you would find ethnic instruments such as dilruba, harmonium, tabla and tambura co-existing with guitars, vibraphones, keyboards, bass and other electronic instruments. The arrangements are all phenomenal here and everything is painstakingly woven to create such emotional landscapes. It may sound simple and it is easy to take this for granted. However, there is a real art involved here. It is a fusion of various styles- from Indian classical to Indian film music and from pristine electronic music to stripped down electro-acoustic pop. But all work as a cohesive, singular unit which is hard to pull off convincingly. Every song is arranged, written and recorded by the band members themselves. I also recently heard that even the meticulous production work was carried out by Bob, the band’s front-man! Joe Sowery mastered the album. It is top-notch work in every regard.

Good, interesting and deeply moving music is still being made, folks. So, if you are truly a lover of pure music albums, you should own this one in your collection. I can’t recommend it enough. To say ‘Undone’ is a great album would be an understatement because the impact it leaves is unforgettable. This album is very much likely to stay with you forever.

 

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