The new single from Bangalore, India’s Thermal and a Quarter, “Leaders of Men”, offers listeners an aural glimpse of their latest album. Longtime fans of the quartet will flock to this inspired reaffirmation of the band’s core sound. Despite their personal backgrounds, you’ll find no evidence of traditional Indian music in Thermal and a Quarter’s work. They present listeners with a Western sound rife with rock influences that have earned them opening slots with bands as diverse as Jethro Tull, Guns ‘n’ Roses, and Deep Purple. They’ve played in numerous far flung locales around the globe such as London, New York City, Singapore, and Dublin to name a few. The countless miles they’ve racked up bringing their music to the world and eight studio albums have done nothing to dull their thirst for creating, and their new single continues following the same imaginative trajectory. 

Bruce Lee Mani’s vocals bring the lyrics to life, though some listeners will wish Mani brought a little more outright fire into his singing. One of the best things about the song’s vocal is how Mani repeats the final line at the end of each verse – it gives a little added emphasis to the content without the band ever overplaying its songwriting hand. If “Leaders of Men” is representative of the overall quality of the band’s latest album A World Gone Mad, we can be sure the remainder of the release matches or exceeds the high standards the band has established with their preceding seven album releases. 

The band is on point throughout the whole song. Tony Das’ guitar playing, in particular, has a strong bite without ever coming across as overwrought. The way he couples bluesy grit with genuine finesse is impressive thanks, in a big way, to the superior production framing the recording. Bassist Leslie Charles handled the song’s mixing and his work in that role places the vocal and guitar up front, but they never come at the expense of the band’s rhythm section. Charles and drummer Rajeev Rajagopal are key to the song’s success and turn in memorable performances. 

The lyrical content reflects the intelligence and well-rounded approach they take towards songcraft. Far too many bands treat their lyrics as an afterthought, but Thermal and a Quarter make no such distinctions. Their lyrics carry the same weight as the musical content and they manage to make meaningful statements through their words while never diminishing the importance of the musical arrangement. The balance maintained between those two components never fails throughout the course of the song. 

Thermal and a Quarter’s “Leaders of Men” will hit its mark with longtime fans of the band and is certain to capture the attention of those encountering the band for the first time. The Bangalore, India based band will likely experience tremendous success on the back of their latest release and, if there’s justice in this world, it will further expand their public profile and propel them to a new level of notoriety. Their talent and hard dedicated work deserves as much.

Michael Rand

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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