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     Volume 7 Issue 29 | July 18, 2008 |

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Melancholic Rocking

Srabonti Narmeen Ali

Rock band Shunno has blasted into the music industry taking matters into their own hands by simultaneously launching a music production label called Maroon Music. Their first album, 'Notun Srot', sponsored by Samsung Mobile, was launched on June 28, 2008 at the Decagon Café, where they performed along with other bands such as Raaga, Radioactive, Nemesis, J's and 71. Famous musicians Ornob and Sanjay (from the band Warfaze) showed their solidarity for new and upcoming talented musicians by appearing as surprise guest performers, Ornob with the band Nemesis and Sanjay with the band Radioactive.

Shunno started out in 2007 when friends Emil (vocals) and Shaker (guitar), both in their mid-20s, got together and started working on a few tracks. Emil originally was in a band named Triloy, which disbanded after their first album hit the scene. He then started Shunno with Shaker. Michael (bass) and Labib (drums) (both of whom who are still completing their A-levels, thereby being considerably younger than the two friends) joined the band soon after, making the sound of Shunno, ironically contradicting the meaning of its name, beautifully complete.

The name Shunno has a story as well. Fuad Almuqtadir produced the band's first released song, Prottasha, in his groundbreaking album 'Bonno'. The former Radio Foorti RJ and electronica-funk king had advised the band to come up with a name and as a result the four boys chose the name Shunno, which symbolises starting from scratch, as well as being a name that will be easy to remember by all their fans.

The album itself showcases four very talented musicians, somehow managing to give each other enough space to explore their musicality, but also allowing each other to shine in their own trade simultaneously. Although the band is a rock band, most of their tracks on the album, save for track 3, Probash, are of the mellow and soft rock variety. The title track, Notun Srot, starts off with a Metallica-reminiscent melodious plucking and strumming of the guitar and, as soon as you start to get into the rhythm of the song, quickly changes courses and the beat becomes almost jazzy and funky.

Guitarist Shaker's playing was an extremely pivotal part of the album. His talent was evident all through the album, but more especially in the two instrumentals, Dynsfunction of a Nervous Breakdown and the last song on the album, Serenade. While the first of the two instrumentals, true to its name, sounds like a frenzied but melodious outpouring of the band's feelings (albeit channelled into their instruments), and creates the listener to feel a burst of energy along with the band; the instrumental Serenade is a much more mellow and romantic sound, which almost causes the listener to feel a tangible sense of longing within the wails of Shaker's guitar.

In addition to the three instruments, the fourth sound that makes the sound of this album compact is the soulful and piercing voice of lead vocalist Emil. The singer's versatility is written all over the album. His voice is unique because of its unusual range, which is obvious from the songs Keo Janena, a mellow and melancholic song made even more intense by Emil's haunting voice singing very unusual minor notes. Emil's voice was also aptly showcased in the first song on the album Bedona, of which there are two versions. The first version has more of a funky rock sound to it, starting off with Labib's toe-tapping percussion, before Shaker and Michael join in without disrupting the sound of the song. The acoustic version, however, starts out completely differently, with a blend of keyboards, guitar and bass, giving off a more smooth and lilting quality to the song made even more so when after the first few chords of the song a soulful violin solo comes unexpectedly by violinist Selim.

Shunno has proved in this album that they are anything but zeros. In fact the four young talented singers came out with a bang and will hopefully have many more years of beautiful music to come. For now, however, their album 'Notun Srot' is the perfect summer album -- one which you can coop yourself up in your room on a rainy day and listen to over and over again.

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