Symt Music Review - Refreshing Sounds


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Symt Music Review - Refreshing Sounds
Symt is a pop rock band from Lahore, Pakistan with the name meaning 'Direction' in Urdu. The band consists of Haroon Shahid, Hassan Omer and Farhan Ali. Their debut song Zamana was nominated for two categories at the Lux Style Awards. Despite debuting with catchy tunes such as Pyar Di Ganderi and Zamana about two years ago, SYMT finally caught the public’s eye and made it into the limelight, after featuring in Coke Studio season five. Their numbers Tum Kaho and Koi Labda — which featured Sanam Marvi — became instant YouTube hits and the trio made it to the echelons of Pakistani rock music. Currently featuring on online music show Pepsi Smash, the trio has released two more tracks.
We live 5 houses apart. So I saw Hasan going on his bike – he used to have a bike to get guitar lessons. So I stopped him and asked him ‘What’s this on your back?’ And he said ‘It’s a guitar and I take lessons’, said Haroon Shahid, the lead singer of SYMT as he remembered the first time he met fellow band member and close friend, guitarist and producer, Hasan Omar. Although Shahid didn’t start learning and playing music till he was in college, he had developed an interest in music from a very young age. One day his mother took him to a concert at Sunset Club while Shahid and his family were visiting Karachi from Saudi Arabia. I believe she probably regrets it today because that was the first time I remember in which I saw a concert and thought music is something I want to do says Shahid. Haroon had tried getting admission at NCA but felt that everyone else could draw better than him and music was what he had a special talent for. He turned to music in college and started to learn seriously and worked hard at it for 4 or 5 years. They were joined by a third member, Farhan who had been playing as a session bassist for a number of bands over the years. The band is still very new and their debut single ‘Zamana’ was nominated for Best Song and Best Video at the Lux Style Awards. Their first performance as a band was at Shahid’s cousins wedding.

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Aitebar by Symt – Vital Signs Cover: An unquestionably brilliant song; a coming of age acoustic melody about the realism of love. Love the vocal arrangement and the soothing delivery, at times the acoustic guitar sounds average the cover being filled with monotonous chord patterns but for me this cover is more about the vocals…the superbly layered double vocal track forms the backbone. A must listen.

Vocalist: Haroon Shahid
Bass: Farhan Ali
Guitar-Production-Backing Vocals: Hassan Omer

 Symt the band

Bhula Dena by Symt – Pepsi Smash: A synthetically exciting track; love the beat as it picks on but vocals appear to be a bit weak, this track required sheer intensity and as vocal texture of Haroon sounds better at low notes so sways a bit as the pitch goes high.



Dil Ki Ankhon by Symt: Apart from the overdriven guitars somewhere in the middle and by the end of the track, this track opens up with refreshing acoustic guitar with mellowed lyrics but lacking any emotional value.



Gul Sun Ja by Symt: A catchy track as it opens up but doesn’t live up to the hype it created. The track has a funky bass-line with a synthesized poppy tune but for me it doesn’t quite work out; maybe it’s the deplorable concept behind the video.



Hai Woh Allah by Symt: A beautiful rendition for his Grace; short but powerful the message the track emits reflect yet to be explored side of Symt as they display their range both musically and lyrically.

 Symt the band

Jeenay Do by Symt – Pepsi Smash: Unmatchable intensity for a born again head banger love the riffs, if only this track had a lead and drum combo without the synth effects forming the background. Lyrically extreme, intensity is maintained even at time the verses sound a bit nonsensical.



Koi Labda by Symt – Coke Studio: Love this track as it portrays the need to belong the need to love and be loved; musically this track is extremely melodious ranging from soothing vocals of Haroon to hauntingly beautiful Sanam Marvi.

Koi Labda was written and composed by band members Haroon Shahid and Hasan Omer.The song is more serious than the bands other song, Tum Kaho and deals with the idea that not everyone can get everything they search for. The band talks about the sense of longing for a loved one - a parent or beloved. The song includes a qawwali by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan called menu chadkalli nu tu challeya “You left me alone and walked away.” The qawwali section brings out the spiritual quest for God, represented through the symbolism of a worldly beloved - a common theme in sufi poetry. This is one of the first songs on Coke Studio that features a non-linear approach to recording. Sanam Marvi was recorded at a later date and her inclusion was decided after the main performance sessions. This unique approach to recording opens up a lot of possibilities for future collaborations.



Pyar Di Ganderi by Symt – Naseebo Lal Cover: Original is a typical mujra track with beats going all over the place so the lady gets to shake everything. I don’t know how we ended up here from the traditional Punjabi Folk Songs like Heer, Mirza, Jugni and many more depicting love, bravery and character of Punjabi people to Pyar Di Ganderi. People need to get rid of this sick culture since culture represents societies and with this we are only representing the sickness among us. Coming to the cover if the composition is great, how raunchy or double meaning the lyrics brilliance is never too far off. Symt has finally started to get due credit since they started off, better late than never; versatility is the key to their music from haunting vocals to memorable riffs. Haroon Shahid lead vocalist for Symt has come a long way since his first appearance on the stage of Sangeet Icon, he’s one of those self-taught musicians starting off by imitating various legends in Pakistani Music Industry and now he himself stands as an inspiring story in the world of Soft Rock.



Saadi Vaari by Symt: Bland and shouty and not that deep lyrically. The chorus is more or less a psychedelic blur and keeps hitting at you, although voted for PTI but would have preferred something more inspirational something more elegant like Imran Khan.



Sunday Morning by Symt – Maroon 5 Cover: A promising start but somehow loses to maintain interest and the tracks end up with vocals going in one direction and music in another. For me a totally messed up effort and had to jump back to the original just to remember how much I love this track.



Tere Liye by Symt – Vital Signs Cover: Always been a hardcore Vital Sign fan as always been an over the top romantic and for me nothing brings romanticisms more into the open then Vital Signs. Love the finger-picking part of the track, love the circularity of this track always coming back to where it started from till it so beautifully ends; feel like falling in love again.

Vocalist: Haroon Shahid
Bass: Farhan Ali
Guitar-Keyboards-Production-Backing Vocals: Hassan Omer

 Symt the band

Tum Kaho by Symt – Coke Studio: A bit cheesy but it's groovy, admittedly. Vocal range in this track is awesome didn’t know Haroon had it in him and instrumentally funky swaying as I play it on.

Tum Kaho is one of the band’s original songs, and has not been released yet. The music was composed and arranged by SYMT guitarist Hasan Omer who worked out the structure and gave it to lead singer Haroon Shahid to compose the melody and lyrics. Shahid says Tum Kaho represents the initial feelings of attraction and interest for someone. The lyrics were inspired by the idea of starting a romantic relationship with a person by confessing their interest for her.



Ye Shaam by Symt – Vital Signs Cover: Depressing and soothing vocals an ecstasy of a song for all the romantics out there as one drowns one soul in the melodies of this track overwhelmed in melancholia and wrapped in feelings as each word follows; music could have taken more of a contemporary tone since the dullness of it doesn’t escape the listener.

Vocalist: Haroon Shahid
Bass: Farhan Ali
Guitar-Keyboards-Production-Backing Vocals: Hassan Omer

 Symt the band

Zamana (Live) by Symt – Album-- Overload Live at the Apartment Sessions (2011): In awe of Symt as it comes across one of the most musically talented bands having more then there share of catchy tunes. Overload collaborating with Haroon Shahid to cover Zamana, a track signifying a lover calling for his love to go against the tides of the society and the very emotion are so much amplified as Farhad’s drum stick comes crashes down on the cymbal with melodic chords pulsating in the background.

Guitars/Vocals: Haroon Shahid
Drums: Farhad Humayun
Keyboard: Sheraz Siddiq
Guitars: Hassan Omer
Bass: Farhan Ali





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