Motherjane, being my favorite band, has filled my day, the 1st of August with this powerful single “No Contest”. It’s after a long gap of one year that they released a single. The studio performance of the newly recruited guitarist Santhosh Chandran was one of the most awaited thing about this single. He being a magician on classical guitar and a guru to Rex(Avial’s guitarist) has done a job great enough to satisfy the janiacs who expected huge! The song is having a similar mood compared to their previous single “Jihad”; Protest! But this one comes with a lot more anger and dissatisfaction embedded within.
The video starts with the news clippings of Nira Radia Tape, then 2G, CWG scams and finally the most ignored Endo-sulfan crisis in Kerala. The lyrics as always was strong, but I fail to understand the point of showing the guys traveling in an imported car. Showing some rusty bridge and near by stuff is fine but would’ve been better if some more thought spent on the shoot location choice. Corruption isn’t that invisible in India that one should go searching and can’t find anything worse than a rusty bridge. The video ends with another news clipping that apparently praises Anna Hazare!
Coming back to the song, I can’t rate it above my favorite “Broken”, but I think it is on par with Jihad. One should hear this track more than once to get a hang of it. I do not agree with IRMP3’s comment that Motherjane is moving away from carnatic music. I could feel a strong presence of it in Santhosh’s riffs but yes, in a different way compared to Baiju. There’s no point in imitating after-all! The man has his own style. Listening to the sound of motherjane over years, we can see that Baiju has softened it during his reign. And now with Santhosh, they’re making it a more hard n strong stuff that cannot cause any disrespect to the Carnatic roots! There were some criticism on Suraj on his inability to incorporate new melodies. Well, I don’t want to comment on that. Suraj is a man who expresses himself very strongly through his vocals and we can clearly see that he’s enjoying it. I don’t think I have the knowledge or musical capability to criticize him.
Overall, I feel this is really awesome enough for a come back! Conveys a strong message through the lyrics and music while there were less help from the video. I wish to view this only as a new beginning, a new era for Janiacs!