Pepsi Battle of the Bands, Season Two – Episode 02

Pepsi Battle of the Bands is back with episode 02 with Ayesha Omer as host and same judges Fawad Khan, Farooq Ahmed and Meesha Shafi.

Ehl-e-Rock was the first act of Episode 02 and according to them Ehl-e-Rock is not just a name but it’s an ideology and brother hood fraternity for rock lovers and rock followers. Band was formed in 2009 and they have working together since then with hard rock being their main genre. They did change coupe of vocalist from time to time with currently Waqar Younus as their frontman. They have already released an English album “words of mass destruction”. They performed their original number named as “Junoon”, Waqar’s vocals were fully energetic and are here to stay and his vocals jelled well with the music. Music arrangement was also up there. Felt like a complete performance and one of the judge Farooq called them a power house.

Khamaaj is a though and Khamaaj is a raag too and they named it Khamaaj due to the reason that their no was no other band with this name and this band with nine members is been together for two years now. From their original ‘Bezubaan’ which is sufi rock song with tabla and Junooni type guitar tone, its seems that their guitarist is inspired by Salman Ahmed (Junoon). Khamaaj should try to create their own style of music. Their vocalist stood out and is by the best I have heard in first two episodes of Pepsi Battle of the Bands 2017. His vocal chords and vocal tone sets him apart from the rest and I predict him to be the next ‘Atif Aslam’. Sound of Tabla felt good after quite a while. This band needs to jam a lot more and if they improve their music arrangements and music style a bit they are sure winners of this Pepsi Battle of the Bands.

Nafs is a three piece band and they performed “main shah” by Manjhi Faqeer and apart from impressive vocal tone of vocalist there is not to mention about their performance. Music arrangements need improvement a lot and they need to add some more members to perform better on-stage.

Badnaam another three piece band and they are into sufi rock music with sufiana kalaam, their vocalist Ahmed Jillani said he was a big fan of Farooq and that was the real destroying part of their performance. They performed their original number ‘Alif Allah’ and Ahmed Jillani was trying too hard to copy Farooq’s style of vocals. I have feeling that Ali Azmat’s style of vocals suit your type of music a lot more then Farooq’s, so if you feel like copying go for Ali Azmat not Farooq. Rest all stuff like music arrangements, composition and lyrics were good enough.

E-Sharp started off in 2005 as band and they have also released their album by name of ‘bahadur yarr jung’ during 2015 which was success on social media. They have also released their second album during this year. They performed their original number ‘chaahay sau saal’ with pretty oridinary performance, nothing seemed very special just a normal type of band and their music was arranged well and had a feeling like “‘heard it before” feel to it.

Yoon is a band from Swat where music has too folk in it and Yoon is trying to infuse western elements into folk music of Swat. They are first band with a Rubab player and they also have a tabla player with them too and according to them they have introduced a new style of music which is getting appreciated very well. They performed ‘chaap tilak by Amir Khusru’, vocalist lacked accents and tone for this type of song was missing too. Tabla and Rubab gave a good feel to it but overall very hollow, empty and disappointing performance.

Darvesh is someone who deeply lost in love of lord as said by the band Darvesh and naming band Darvesh was due to their deep love with music. They have been together for two years and are like family. They are started off with three members and are now 10 members. They are here to introduce a genre qawwali rock and their original number ‘Sawali’ written by grand-mother of Saad Ali Khan had a feel good factor to it. Music arrangements and composition were very pretty ordinary and overall a very ordinary type of performance.

On the concluding note, best act of the episode 02 was definitely Khamaaj, closely followed by Ehl-e-Rock, Badnaam and Darvesh. I see Khamaaj as a clear winner here.

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