Any creative sort will tell you that they’ve never been happy – truly happy – with anything they’ve ever been part of. I have a rule on this site, once things are published I don’t read them again. If I did, I’d forever be tinkering.

There’s a close cousin of this. Let me pose you a question: is there any record you consider truly perfect. My favourite five for example, none of them are flawless. I give records 10/10 but its futile. There’s one band I gave 11/10 to, because they released an album that I thought was better than the one I’d given top marks to a couple of years before.

So if no record is perfect, and every band wants a do-over. Why don’t more do what Girish and The Chronicles are doing here? That is to say, taking their debut and remaking it. Re-recording it, not remixing. Literally playing it again as the band they are in 2023.

This is the bit where usual rock reviewers blag you. They’ll bullshit claiming this or that change has been made. Yeah look, sound. We are made of sterner stuff. If you’ve loved GATC since the get-go and had this in 2014, good luck to you. Me? The first time I’d come across them was when they were preparing to release “Hail To The Heroes” in 2022 and we did them as band of the day in late 2021.

“….Heroes” was brilliant. The sort of record that reminds you of the sheer joy of rock n roll. Which is one of two reasons why I am not going to insult Girish and the lads. The second is even more simple: I don’t need to hear the original here. The re-record is mighty.

It’s basically like this. If you don’t like the metal tinged melody of “Ride To Hell” the opener. Equal parts Saxon and Whitesnake, then forget it. Go and listen to something else. Like it? Love it? Then Girish and the Chronicles welcome you all.

“Loaded” is an interesting one. Swagger, baby, swagger. Bad Company ain’t got nothing on this. Thunderous. But its one of only two here that see Girish Pradhan re-record his vocals. You can see why. He’s phenomenal. He’s what David Coverdale thinks he is still (and what Glenn Hughes actually is!).

His brother Yogesh on bass is to the fore on the Skid Row-ish, “Born With A Big Attitude”. They were young when they wrote it and it shows: “stop acting like a little bitch, before I kick your ass you little prick” spits the chorus. Young and dumb it might have been, but that nasty reputation has taken them everywhere (if you know, you know….) since. Plus you can hear the fun in the guitar. Who are we to judge.

“Shot By The Cupid, Touched By The Devil” might sound like a prog title, in real life it sounds like Van Halen, and “Angel” – the other one that Girish re-did his part on – is a single handed attempt at reviving the power ballad. Aerosmith had a song with this title. If they’d done this, there’s a Gold Disc in Tyler’s downstairs bog.

GATC, mind you, are best when they are rocking. Heavier than you think, Suraz Sun’s leads are from the top draw – “I Wanna Get That Lovin’ Again” slashes with razor sharp precision – and “Hey You” grooves like a blues thing – but they are augmented by Girish himself with his rhythm to give the record some real meat.

They are an impressive length too. “Yester Years” is ambitious – and notwithstanding I haven’t heard the original its striking that lyrically and vocally GATC knew what they wanted to be in 2014. “Smile Little Child” is gorgeous too, lovely, yet epic sounding. It’s got soundtrack to a film written all over it. It is contrasted magnificently with “The Revolving Barrel”,  the sort of rocker that this era of Dead Daisies are making their own.

At the shorter end of the spectrum comes “Golden Crown”, three minutes of class, but if “End Of Civilization” sounds like a thrash title, then it is an example of the heavier side of the band.

“Back On Earth” then: could they have just reissued this? Would they perhaps have been better off making an entirely new record? The answer to both those questions is the same. Yes, maybe, but its none of your business. Girish And The Chronicles might well be the finest rock band in India (I assume this to be the case, based on the fact they are fantastic and the only one I know) and this what they’ve chosen to do.

Just enjoy it. Whether you knew it before or not, it’s a wonderful way to spend an hour.

Rating 8.5/10  

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