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"Cracking Tunes on Offer"

Narayan is an electronic / alternative rock band. Which I think is a fancy way of saying that they're a bit industrial and a bit goth without mentioning the "I" or "G" words.

So if you can imagine the days when Trent Reznor still knew how to write songs then you're most of the way there. And it's very good indeed.

Apart from the music, they also need to be commended on a couple of other things. First of all, props for mastering the mail merge. Better still, they are apparently touring the mid-Atlantic region supporting this album. Which makes them mermen! Wow.

Back on dry land, there are some cracking tunes on offer, with nary a duff one in sight. A special heads up goes to 'Interrogator' and 'Metastasis (From The Creator Of Swans). Highly recommended. - Zeitgeist

"Will Draw You In With The First Listen"

Bands are always more interesting when they try to do something new, and that's what New Jersey based Narayan boldly does with their blend of electronica and rock. Dubbed "altronica rock," A King Declares Strength is exciting and electric with deep lyricism and pleasant melodies.

Pretty and intricate arrangements are scattered throughout this meld-- it really is a combination of electronica and rock alternative, and it results in the cool alt/rock from the late 90s but with a twinge of Radiohead and Prodigy-like big beats. From that, the album is almost like an influence free-for-all. The lyrics and melodies go from angry Linkin Park-type tracks to the sweet sugaryness of Fall out Boy ("The Receiving End of Silence," where he regretfully croons like Patrick Stump). Frontman Vyom Pandit even manages to pull out all the stops in going Lenny Kravitz on the protest song "The Resistance" and the fun-sounding but troubling "White Picket Trenches." The latter are manic and crazy, but they manage to bring it down with the simple lazy strumming of "20001789." Love and disillusion are common subjects on A King Declares Strength, and on the lead single "Third November" you'll be left with a heavy heart--there's a desperate attempt to hold onto the memory of a loved one the struggle to cope.

A King Declares Strength is the kind of album that will draw you in with the first listen. There is an undeniable kind of appeal with their self-coined genre, in which angst and disillusionment collide. One can't help but feel a bit of underlying anger in this album: it's subtle, but you know it's there, even in the songs that are clearly declarations of love. It's the kind of album that might leave you in a wreck, but think of it as an emotional roller coaster: one you want to ride over and over again.

Caroline Leonardo, Evolution of Media Magazine - Evolution of Media Magazine

"Tracks That Break The Mold"

Narayan must be given for at least one thing on their record. They have rehashed the sound of some late 90s alternative rock bands. They manage to use those elements and give them a fresh coat of paint. They do throw in some electronic elements into the alternative core to help mix the pot up. There are a few tracks that break that mold and are worth a note. “20001789” is a really strange but appealing acoustic track. It shows off the range of the band a bit more. The acoustic guitar does sound a bit more intense than most. It is really good change of pace song. “The Resistance” has great use of samples and electronics to create a anthem like tune. The surprise of the album is “One More Empty Moment” as the song drifts off into ambient land.

John Siwicki - Comfort Comes

"An Impressive Feat"

Narayan is the brainchild of indie musician Vyon Pandit. Featuring members Thom Becker, Bahadir Erdem, Russel Helfman, Patrick Presiar, and Argiris Hristofis, Narayan's debut album A King Declares Strength was independently produced without the help of record labels. Everything was done, including recording, mixing, and production by Pandit. An impressive feat that is not accomplished all that much today, A King Declares Strength is a fairly good album at 12 songs and 41 minutes.

'Interrogator' is a solid introduction to the album's theme. It's energetic and uses a good mixture of synth like effects with contemporary rock melodies. The song's memorable coda is also displayed on the album itself "Don't look away it could be you on the other side of that cage". 'Third November' is a grittier rock song with less synth and more straight line sonic effects. The song comes off as a little bit emo but asserts Pandit's song writing abilities as true and his vocals are mostly pleasant on the ears. It gets quite explosive at the end which creates a good sense of force versus the somewhat redundant chorus "good bye". I enjoyed 'The receiving end of silence' which is A King Declares Strength's 5th cut. By now the album is clearly a mixture of emo, rock, and synthetic sounds but 'The Receiving End of Silence' represents this accurately. The use of keys is prominent during the verse and is blended nicely with the string plucking. 'Metastasis' is the album's most experimental song. It's done quite nicely and is not overly emotional. A random use of keys, synth, and special effects accompany Pandit's visitant sounding vocals. The beat picks up at the end which gives 'Metastasis' a boosting finish.

'One More Empty Moment' is more of what 'Metastasis' was than the record's earlier tracks. The harmony that hides behind the guitar and effects is interesting but difficult to decipher(if you're trying). At times the song is attractive when it plays with the beat but it begins better than it finishes. I didn't really like 'Fiction' because it reminded me too much of a band like Finch or more less like something that has already been done before. 'White Picket Trenches' is a good song because it's so much more pop rock than emo. It's got an attitude that most of the other songs last and its as bold as anything else from A Kind Declares Strength. The tempo is nice and dynamic because of the off beat chorus creates an almost dance like appeal; this is probably the best song on the album. '20071789' is the song that captures a more grounded acoustic like emo song except I found it quite hard to understand what it means.

All things considered, Narayan's A King Declares Strength is en emo record with a twist. Not that emo music is bad thing; it's just hard to tell if emo bands are simply being trendy or truly expressive. The heavy use of effects is branding and mostly does the album well by adding a twist. The songs themselves essentially reflect Pandit's trendy style, although he makes a valiant effort at giving A King Declares Strength regal individuality. He's a good vocalist and the production work is quite impressive.

by Brett Merle - Static Multimedia

"Energetic Alternative Electronic Rock"

RK Narayan, a famous Indian author, lends its name to this group of New Jersey, which launches its first album A King Declares Strength. Narayan is the vehicle of singer, guitarist and producer Vyom Pandit who concocted by a kind of alternative electronic rock. The influence of Nine Inch Nails is undeniable. Whether by voice, how to sing, or the sounds of keyboard, it alludes several times a nice version of Trent Reznor... With its interesting arrangements, Caught Up In A Casualty is surely the best part of the album. Note, however, the energetic and nervous White Picket Trenches and the disc's most ambitious song The Resistance.

Nicholas Lavallée - BangBang! Magazine

"Aural Goodness Out Of New Jersey"

Aural goodness out of New Jersey. I instantly liked this band before the first song reached its climax, it's very, very catchy electronic rock in the vein of Placebo, Tool, A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, some AFI, 30 Seconds to Mars, you know where I'm going with this. There's a grunginess and heaviness to the instrumentation (both synthesized and organic) but there are lighter moments as well. The vocals fit the music perfectly. 11 is a more acoustic number, 6 is quieter as well, and 10 is super dancy.

Jodie Francis - The


Narayan - Third November (Single)
Narayan - A King Declares Strength (Full-Length Debut Album)



It's not quite rock. It's not quite electronica. But it sure tastes good. Through years of research and development, the group has successfully made a musical zygote from an electronica egg and an alternative rock sperm cell. Proving that it is possible to write "very, very catchy electronic rock" abound with lyrical depth.

Public response to the debut album, A King Declares Strength, has been overwhelmingly positive; invading both terrestrial and internet stations alike. The band had been featured in GRock Rising, and WDHA's Home-Grown Spotlight. The album debuted at #16 on 7digital's Indiestore charts and is available on iTunes. Hear what Stuart A. Hamilton, senior editor of Zeitgeist, calls "cracking tunes on offer, with nary a duff one in sight."

After months of composing in front of an apparatus of cathodes, diodes, and guitar picks, Narayan is hard at work on the proverbial road; a full east-coast tour is also in the works along with a tentative slot on the Vans Warped Tour. The tight-knit lineup, which prides itself on its extremely energetic live performances, includes Thom Becker on drums, Bahadir Erdem and Russell Helfman on guitars, and Vyom Pandit on vocals and synths.

Narayan recorded and mixed A King Declares Strength at Semitone Studios NJ. Mastered by Emily Lazar at The Lodge NYC (The Prodigy, Depeche Mode, Garbage), the debut album is already generating a buzz throughout the independent circuit. But you won't find a brainchild anywhere.

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