A Bengali boy dealing with the horns of dilemma that is adolescence and education, I had not been much into music when I was in class 8. I was really the person who brought these huge books home and read and read and read. More of a person who sketched and painted rather than a person who sang and danced around. At that juncture of my life, my cousin gave me some Bengali songs to play on our Home Theater. It was this odd album collection including a medley of bands including “Fossils”. “Fossils” is a Bengali band set out of Kolkata that set out to bring rock music to Bengal and well, what it brought was simply, the popular rock that Bengal needed out of the bands at that very moment.
Bengal, has forever been the hub of revolutions and angst. It belts out intellectualisms that might not appeal to the larger community but, exclusively in Bengal it becomes part of a larger being. it becomes an ever growing organism and it encompasses everything in its path and that is beautiful. “Fossils” was different though. This was a movement that did not stem from the anger or with political motivation like the hundreds of poets and singers of that age. It was a straight up need to express adolescent angst and the need for rock and roll in our society that was delving into these old songs which though not exactly politically correct, were not something that the kids could relate to.
“Fossils” capitalized on the market and became huge, and then it captured the fantasies of everyone around.
But, I grew up, and so did our generation that listened to the music of the band. The etilists moved on to Blues while, the stable Bengal fan base remained. The band was on it’s way to becoming a juggernaut when I moved onto Metal myself.
That started a few years of metal worship. Of the longer hair and the affection for the wholly black wardrobe. Of putting together a hefty collection of death metal from around the globe. Through this, I got the idea of returning to the very roots and I still have the huge collection of Blues and instrumentals that influenced the artists I liked at that time. I still listen to “The Velvet Underground” and “Silver Apples”, but, then I somehow forgot my own roots. My own humble beginning with a home theater and the music CDs burned by some anonymous guys at some mobile store to make that much amount of extra profit.
But, last year I heard them live…
I was there in the front row, singing along to the songs that I had heard about a hundred times or more during my teenage years and it struck. Throughout the rest of the year I have been singing the same songs and this morning I rediscovered the CDs.
It is strange indeed, the chords were still simple, it was not really brutal or even great. but, there, among all those fans, and in a sea of choruses, I felt like I belonged, and that is a feeling that is quite common in rock concerts, even with bands you don’t know jack about.
But, now here I am, I have listened to almost all of their songs today.
But, that emptiness remains.
Fossils, their music has the anthem-like quality, but, it lacks the sincerity, the beauty of truth. it lacks the beauty that lies in truthful angst and anger and expression. It lacks that thing that makes music worth listening to. Listening to them is like listening to the later albums of “Bon jovi”, that conviction of romance is missing.
I remember the concert vividly though, and I still sing along to the songs in my computer. I just don’t like them that much anymore, and the studio works do not match up to the performance they put up, or maybe having someone to enjoy the whole thing with changes the entire atmosphere.