Wrapping Paper – Vivek Date

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When punk rock first arrived – and exploded – in the UK in the late ’70s, more than a few fans of that new genre declared that rock and roll was dead. But, no, just like vinyl continues to thrive in a digital era, rock and roll is not only alive globally, but so too in India. Credit, at least in part, must go to Mumbai-based Vivek Date who may have been predominantly a bassist but here, on his debut album named ‘Wrapping Paper’, he reve[a]ls himself as a songwriter too. Vivek has combined influences of genres ranging from blues, rockabilly, and early rock & roll – nearly all of it dating before 1955 – and approached the classic styles of the past, paradoxically with the energy and nonchalance of what was – thankfully – the short-lived punk rock, but has made his sound for a new generation, conveying that rock and roll is hard, wild, and manic fun and, yet, the production is kept simple. The eight songs here are the work of a writer who knows how to tell stories through his lyrics, which have been married to melodies that are gentle and sweet. Take the opening track, “A Boat”, for instance, an acoustic ballad; or the rockin’ “Mr. Brown”; or the very-Carl Perkins influenced “When I Was 12”; all the songs have an underlying theme of Vivek’s heartfelt music placed in a near flawless form. The obvious influences on the tracks are plain to see – the most notably being The Beatles and The Who – but they are still fresh, and with just enough seasoning to make it practically impossible to gift the roots rock and roll scene of 2015 and onward, in India, without ‘Wrapping Paper’!

Listen and Download the songs here: http://www.artistaloud.com/VivekDate

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

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