Other Side of Peace serves a grand purpose and a noble cause, and does so in a beautiful, heartful fashion, with fantastic production and dazzling performances, a present soul… and no identity.
Maluscomas is the brainchild of the Jodhpur-based Amit Vyas. Amit is a guitarist and songwriter who’s been into music since his teenage years. His influences are multiple and varied, but on this album, you’ll find one sole influence, glaring and obvious.
Pink Floyd’s music is, at most part, deceptively simple. The tempos were usually low, the chords were usually intuitive, and even when the hit the Jazz, it was fluent, elegant, and natural, the words were poetic and direct, the charisma was ever-present, and the performances were timeless. Maluscomas’ efforts on Other Side of Peace tend to follow along in those footsteps, rather closely and with fantastic results; I can easily say this is a brilliant Pink Floyd tribute album. It’s just not… Pink Floyd.
When Maluscomas does simple, it’s too simple, when he does Jazz, it’s jazz alright, but it’s disruptive to the flow of the songs, when he goes progressive, its provocative and inspired, but sounds like a copy of something else, some 50 years later. Things aren’t all negative, though. Quite the opposite actually. This album is full beautiful music, and it’s worth a listen, if only you could detach it from the massive influence that overshadows it. Each song (or piece, as it is mostly instrumental) describes a stage, or feeling associated with war. The starting ‘Why’ follows the story of a little child simple asking his father “Why”. The composition is distinctive, and the chord progressions are haunting and unique. Dark and foreboding, with traces of unmistakable hope. The arrangement is dominated by drums in agony, airy pads, and a squealing lead guitar. The charismatic vocals are delivered by Greg Emond and are full of pain. A charismatic starter for sure. What The Hell Is Going On is an instrumental ambient piece, that replaces the clock chimes at the beginning of Pink Floyd’s Time with cell phone chimes, while offering immaculate vibes. Chaos follows, with an epic lead guitar tone, playing a remarkable melody, and sizzling solos. The composition is slow paces and is mostly serene. Very strong post-rock influences on this song that thankfully puts the Pink Floyd aside for a while. Greg Emond’s commanding voice returns on the haunting Farewell. The beautiful vocal delivery is soulful, and the harmonies sound warm and rich. The composition is vast and open, with airy chords and an organic-sounding mix. Blue Skies is an instrumental tearjerker with an intense melancholic sound. Think Marooned. Even the guitar has a very similar fuzzed-out tone with the distinctive Gilmour chorusing effect. The soloing is heartfelt and emotional, and the mix is lush. A perfect copy of a perfect instrumental. Rebuilt is another instrumental that uses a more dynamic chord structure than Blue Skies, even a more gnarly guitar tone and a soloing that’s more ballsy and bluesy.
Maluscomas latest album sounds like it has an identity crisis. Half a pristine copy of prog giants, half a brilliantly written and performed collection of songs with clear influences. The sound could have benefited from a little distance from its progenitors, but at its current form, Other Side of Peace is gorgeous and haunting, as long as you don’t pit it in comparisons.