Hailing from Bangalore, India, Thermal and a Quarter is a veteran band who began their songwriting journey a little over two decades ago. They have released eight albums during their time together and opened for a number of legendary acts such as Deep Purple and Jethro Tull, among others. Their songwriting and musical skills have allowed them to tour the world and, despite their backgrounds, they deliver a thoroughly Westernized sound to audiences that has garnered them considerable attention and acclaim. The award winning band’s latest single “Leaders of Men” carries their musical vision forward into the third decade of the 21 st century and the four piece shows no signs of slowing down or settling into any sort of a rut.
The new single comes from the band’s latest album A World Gone Mad and, as the title implies, Thermal and a Quarter are unafraid to offer their own commentary on the state of human affairs circa 2020. The song’s lyrics make it clear they take a dim view of the world’s leaders, but it is far from the typical cookie cutter broadside inveighing against the powers that be common to most rock bands. Thermal and a Quarter possess their own idiosyncratic take on language and phrasing; in some important ways, the song’s lyrics say as much about the band as they do about the song’s subject. There isn’t one line that falls flat.
Tony Das and vocalist Bruce Lee Mani form an impressive two guitar punch that takes flight a ways into the song, but Das is the true six string star of this recording. His fat guitar sound never threatens to overwhelm listeners and reeks with down in the dirt authenticity that sounds natural, never forced. The rhythm section of bassist Leslie Charles and drummer Rajeev Rajagopal provide “Leaders of Men” with the necessary foundation for the track. Charles deserves further mention as he is responsible for the superb mix helping power this song.
Bruce Lee Mani’s vocal has a clear and relaxed quality juxtaposing against the lyrics in an interesting way. His phrasing has a slight smirk running through it, he is obviously dismissive of the song’s subject, and his ability to manipulate the lyrical content separates him from more run of the mill singers. He doesn’t have a voice percolating with classical beauty and skill, but conveys the song’s message with supreme effectiveness.
Thermal and a Quarter’s “Leaders of Men” is an excellent first taste of what is likely one of the band’s best albums yet. This band thoroughly engages with the modern world, but they write about such matters with universal relevance that it defies headlines and has long term relevance. This is an intensely human song and their concern with the world as it is today manifests itself in a different way than other bands like, as an example, U2 or Rage Against the Machine – acts firmly tethered to their time. Thermal and a Quarter’s “Leaders of Men” is a song that speaks to all time rather than an isolated moment in history and, as such, will stand for some time to come.
The music of THERMAL AND QUARTER has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division. Learn more https://musikandfilm.com
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