Screetus’ atmospheric new EP Auburn Garden, takes inspiration from the tale of Frankenstein
ABHISHEK SIKDAR IS an ardent fan of Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein. “I think I first read it when I was 11 or so and, while it wasn’t my first foray into science fiction, it was the first time I’d read science fiction as profound as that,” says the musician who is the guitarist, lyricist and vocalist for city-based band Screetus. The themes of abuse and misuse of power from the novel have inspired the band’s new EP, Auburn Garden. The four-tracks in the album show the dark and mysterious side of prog rock.
Screetus consists of Abhishek, along with Vijay Rawat on drums and Vamsi Krishna on guitars. “I started writing this EP in October 2019. It just started off as one song, which was very personal to me. But I realised it had more merit if I expanded it into a broader theme. We released the single, Saturn Eyes, in February 2020,” says Abhishek. The band took the time during the lockdown to write the rest of Auburn Garden, which is named after the Garden of Eden.
The EP starts with the evocative number Deep Caves And Dreary Main. Other-wordly and haunting in its melody, this sets the tone for what’s to come. Saturn Eyes is melancholic in tone but decidedly prog rock in style. “This song is told from the perspective of someone who has gone through intense trauma in their past, like Frankenstein’s monster. But the reality is that even though time has passed, the effects of that trauma never really leave,” Abhishek shares. The third track, Looking Elsewhere, is moody and
tonal. The EP closes with Scarlet, Cloudy and Closed. “This was the track I had the most trouble writing,” the artiste says, adding, “The song is told from the perspective of the abuser, Dr Frankenstein.
The narrator believes he’s actually helping his charge, but gets so lost in the exertion of power over another person that he forgets the other person has an identity of her own too.” The gothic undertones of the album shine in this track. The album art, done by artist Aisharjya Roy, highlights the duality of good and evil. The band members are fans of artistes such as Steven Wilson, Opeth, Radiohead, Tool and Airbag. “I think our sound is mostly influenced by a mixture of modern progressive rock, grunge and the version of psychedelic rock given to us by Pink Floyd,” the musician shares.
The band has stayed away from online gigs so far, but plan to start jamming again now. Fans can look forward to a full-length LP with eight or nine tracks from Screetus soon.
Available on online streaming platforms