While it's true that the lyrics of many songs featured on Avial's debut self-titled album, reflect a sense of awareness between the individual and the world he lives in, there is a good chance that the global listener will relate to the album simply for it's musical brilliance.
With elements of indie rock and folk, embedded in each of the songs featured on their album, Avial has managed to mix to perfection an altogether unique sound that the band members like to call "Alternative Malayali Rock".
Avial's journey started four years back in the coastal state of Kerala. However, their musical aspirations trace back far before that when as young boys they spent their days listening to the infectious tunes of Boney M and Abba, a fact that they unashamedly admit to.
In a time when music piracy meant that recorded Thomson cassettes (smuggled into India by unassuming relatives from West Asia) comprised most household music collections, the chances of listening to anything remotely rock was minimal. But when Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa and 70's band Rush exploded into India's music scene, they all agreed; rock was here to stay.
It was the new mantra and an uncharted territory that each of the band's five members traversed. And as so often happens, somewhere along the way they found each other.
It's not exactly what Avial calls serendipity but an outcome of the fact that not many bands in Kerala wanted to experiment with Malayali rock. And so what began as acknowledgements exchanged at various music fests soon became a mutual appreciation for each other's talent. This lyrical phase soon gave way to serious career action and the eventual outcome was Avial formed in the year 2003.
Avial has now gone on to become the first ever Alternative Malayali Rock band to cut an album.
The album, released by Phat Phish Records will serve as a milestone in Indian music and the band hopes that their endeavor will create a pathway for other emerging musicians to seriously consider sticking to alternative, vernacular music. Just as they have done.