Recorded with live drums in Karachi in 1994, a year before Vital Signs' released their classic masterpiece "Hum Tum", two years before Junoon released their sufi rock "Inquilaab" and ten years before Mizraab released their progressive metal "Maazi Haal Mustqabil", "Anarchist Growl" by Overdrive makes its remarkably long-awaited debut on 1 January 2005.
With an eclectic title that will strike fear into record-shop managers the world over, their aggressive social and political activism is refreshing, spewing just as much dark and disturbing vitriol as their frontman. But it is also invigorating, rocking harder and with more purpose than most albums showing the full scope of the group's abilities and ambition.
Their venomous and immeadiately memorable debut single, "Zameen", which became their signature track, was groundbreaking enough when it was released in summer 1994 successfully merging the gothic guitar sounds of metal and urdu, and many would argue that its importance and influence remains unchallenged and unsurpassed to this day. With its relentlessly rebellious rage of, "Is ko hum jala ke kar rahay hain khudkushi, khudkhushi, khudkushi..." the song was a rallying cry of frightening proportions and the unequivocal climax of their vision.
For a decade the visceral and creative energy of "Anarchist Growl" was ignored for it's working-class rebellion and revolutionary lyrics by the ensuing self-imposed, politcally correct, self-censorship of the pakistani record labels as well as the local music press but gradually the searing passion and sheer musicality of "Zameen" became a word-of-mouth cult favourite sky-rocketing up the charts and online music discussion forums. Overdrive's stature and historical importance only grew in hindsight - the band finally realising that in their hands is a potentially crucial stepping stone for the future development of metal and rock in Pakistan. Only a handful of rock and roll bands can genuinely claim to have changed the music scene, and only one of those can claim to have done it with such a tiny discography.
After two successful attempts: Faraz Anwar's "Untitled" and Karavan's "Unplugged and Unleashed", "Anarchist Growl" will become the third Pakistani rock album to see an internet only release. Intelligent, aggressive and brutally honest, this is unimpeachably one of the best hard-rock records ever made.
"Anarachist Growl" tracklisting:
2. Parallel Syndrome
3. Rotten Domain
4. Keh Dey Na (cover)
5. Zameen (lead vocals by Salman Syed)
6. Zameen II
"Anarchist Growl" will be available to download: on www.overdriveonline.net, www.pakistanirock.com, www.mizraabianz.com, www.umrevolution.com, www.j4jumpy.net and www.bandbaja.org
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