Band Crush: The Shakey Rays

Shakey Rays

When the Shakey Rays emerged from the indie club scene of Chennai a couple of years ago, some music critics immediately placed them in the student rock bracket, however this was doing the four piece a great disservice. Dhruva Gautham, Vikram Kannan and Niranjan Swaminathan, who form the creative foundation of the Shakey Rays, go way beyond pleasing the ears of sophomores, because their music is pure and unadulterated rock n’ roll, reminiscent of Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry, with added ingredients of punk icons The Ramones and The Clash.

Before the inception of the Shakey Rays, its two main songwriters Dhruva Gautham and Vikram Kannan achieved mild success with their band Easy Street, but it was only when they got together with drummer Niranjan Swaminathan that the magic, so to speak, began. What the boys emerged as was a powerful and aggressive musical sensation. Their debut album Tunes from the Big Belly went down a storm with the music hungry public, who quickly warmed to the albums mixture of spiky punk, gritty grunge and in your face rock. The boys have found the right musical alchemy, with song writing sensibilities that are worthy of rocks past geniuses, combining just the right amount of aggressiveness with sensitivity.

Earlier this year at the Indie March Festival, staged by CounterCulture, the Shakey Rays showed the crowds just how great a live act they are, with a thundering energetic performance of their recent hits, along with some punchy new tunes. They performed alongside fellow Chennai band the F-16’s. In an interview with The Hindu, the boys spoke of their enthusiasm for performing live, when given the choice between more new music or more shows they said “More shows because we get to play the new stuff on stage anyway. Performing is important because it takes your songs off of your record player and delivers them directly to your audience. It’s a direct form of communication.” Their irascible energy for performing is a sign that these musicians love their work.

Self-described as “a D.I.Y Indie Rock n Roll unit that combine the ancient traditions of Rhythm ‘n’ Blues and swing with the aggressive energy and attitude of Garage Rock and Punk.” The Shakey Rays are something of an anomaly; they are a group that truly stand out from the crowd, creating music that is refreshing and geared towards a youth market that is hungry for something different.

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