The last time Meewakching showed up on TIMD’s archives was when they released their debut album “Thengmankhre Hee Do Lakpa, Eikhoidi Sikhiba Kuire Erolnungda”. Their latest EP, “The Land,” is more than just a musical endeavor; it’s an unfeigned cry, a message of resilience, and a reflection of the tumultuous times in Manipur that have shaken the entire country to the core. Before diving into the tracks, it’s essential to preface this review with a disclaimer, as certain sensitive political issues are intricately woven into the album’s context. With that said, “The Land” serves as a ray of hope amidst the ongoing turmoil in Manipur, showcasing the band’s musical prowess and sensibilities.
The opening track, “Of Murder and Mayhem,” immediately sets the tone for the EP. The vocalist unabashedly addresses the recent political upheavals in his hometown, expressing his candid thoughts on the matter. The lyrics are delivered with conviction, and shed limelight on the hypocrisy of democracy and the government’s nonchalance towards the situation. Meewakching’s music is hard-hitting, featuring edgy, gritty rock elements and honest lyrics that aren’t afraid to call out the failures of the centre to mitigate the situation. “Absolute Minority” takes a more solemn and dark turn, embodying indie rock and neo-psychedelic influences. The lyrics ponder the collective bitterness experienced by the citizens of the state, raising critical points about the conflict’s purpose and end goals. The guitar work in the outro is particularly captivating, enchanting you into a trance-like state, and the rhythmic changes bring a refreshing dynamic to the song.
“Motorik Rhetorik” introduces a cleaner and cooler sonic palette, with clean-toned guitars taking the spotlight. The track continues to question the central government’s indifference to the ongoing conflicts. It delves into introspection, with existential lyrics prompting the audience to contemplate their own fight or flight responses in such a challenging situation. “Wahei Nongphai” adds a subtle traditional layer to the album with lyrics in Manipuri. This track paints a raw and realistic portrait of the destruction of Manipur. The vocalist’s anger and melancholy are palpable as he reflects on the state of his homeland. He allows his listeners to immerse themselves into his emotions through the sentimental lyrics. The sampled audio of a conversation with a friend recorded before the chaos adds a layer of authenticity to the song, reflecting the agony and frustration experienced during these difficult times. Amidst the hard-hitting soundscape, he calls for love and peace through his music.
Meewakching’s ability to use their music as a medium to convey poignant emotions while also addressing pressing political issues is commendable. “The Land” is not merely an EP, it’s also a symbol of human resilience and hope in the face of adversity. It’s a reminder that music can be a messenger of change, and Meewakching is using their platform to raise awareness and inspire others to take action. This EP encapsulates the essence of a band unafraid to confront the harsh realities of their surroundings and deliver a message that transcends the boundaries of music.