Overload A Force to Reckon With


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Overload A Force to Reckon With
Overload formed in 2003 having its roots in Lahore; has revolutionized the Pakistani music scene with at times brilliant fusions, giving a radical new dimension to military bands and sufi dhol players and at times message oriented lyrics and delivery. Overload is brainchild of mainly Farhad Humayun (producer, lead vocalist and drummer) and Sheraz Siddiq (keyboard/synth player, songwriter and composer), who were soon joined by Hassan Mohyeddin on percussion along with dhol players Pappu Sain and Jhura Sain. The band is widely regarded by many critics as being the "Loudest band in Pakistan". Overload down the line became a household name attributed to rift between Farhad Humayun and Meesha Safi; as it goes with Pakistan extraordinary talents and more known for their more ordinary incidents; but here not to exploit but to pay homage to this extraordinary musical genius.

Since their inception, the band has released two studio albums and two live albums. The band released their debut self-titled album Overload in December, 2006. The album charted at the top in the local Pakistani music charts and singles from the album included instrumentals "Dhamaal", "Cursed" and "Storm". After the release of the album, Pappu Sain, regarded as the greatest dhol player in the world, left the band due to ill health and was replaced by Nasir Sain. In 2008, due to the success of the band’s debut album, their single "Dhamaal" got nominated for the "Best Music Video" award at the Lux Style Awards. This was followed by the band releasing their second studio album, Pichal Pairee, in 2009. Although, the album released exclusively as a digital download album, and has not been released on any physical medium, it still topped the charts locally. Singles from the album, "Pichal Pairee", "Mela Kariyay" and "Dhol Bajay Ga!" [now known as Batti] were critical hits. In an online poll by Dawn News the band's video for their single, "Pichal Pairee", was voted as the third best music video of 2010. In 2011, Humayun permanently established himself as the vocalist of Overload, also being the band's drummer.

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Ankahi by Overload – Singles: Farhad has finally come in terms with lyrical power of Urdu language; this track stands apart since it’s motivated more by a deeper meaning and rather less by the instruments. Ankhai reflects the musical reach of Overload as once again they prove their brilliance; the song for me is such a haunting experience; apart from other instruments and vocals, the effect of trumpet and tuba gives me a chill every time I hear this track; being an Army brat I am used to of military bands but amazed by the dimension Overload has given to it; deserves an applause.

Vocalist: Farhad Humayun
Composition: Sheraz Siddiq
Lyrics: Tahir Shaheer

 Ankahi by Overload

Amjad Khan by Overload – Album-- Pichal Pairee (2009): Apparently this track is inspired by the baseline of a famous song from the Indian movie "Sholay" and hence named after the villain Gabbar Singh whose actual name is Amjad Khan. Instrumentally this tracks picks up from the start, a groovy beat sounding promising but gets lost somewhere in the middle where the vocals set in.

Vocalist: Meesha Shafi
Drums: Farhad Humayun
Keyboard: Sheraz Siddiq
Guitar: Mahmood Rahman
Dhol: Nasir Sian

 Amjad Khan by Overload

Dakota (Live) by Overload – Album-- Overload Live at the Apartment Sessions (2011): This track indeed gives one a dose of nostalgia; Overload cover is much less paced but it does pick up as compared to the original by Stereophonics described often as classic UK rock delivered with whiskey vocals. Overload version being a bit mellower has this soothing effect, which does compliment the lyrics and make them more meaningful. Farhad Humayun somewhat underrated as a vocalist but his vocal texture has this depth excellently suiting this track. Instrumentally a simplistic track as per requirement; a constant humming effect is added by the rhythm guitarist with the lead guitarist chipping in with some brilliantly sequenced riffs, had my foot tapping all through the track.

Vocalist: Farhad Humayun
Keyboard: Sheraz Siddiq
Rhythm Guitar: Haroon Shahid
Lead Guitar: Shahzad Hameed
Bass: Farhan Ali

 Dakota (Live) by Overload

Dhol Bajay Ga by Overload – Album-- Pichal Pairee (2009) & Batti by Overload – Singles: First it was Meesha Shafi with Dhol Bajay Ga and then it was Farhad with Batti; now which one is it? Not too big on the rift but solely based on music, for me Batti is more refined and intense as compared to Dhol Bajay Ga so my vote goes to Overload.

Vocalist: Meesha Shafi - Dhol Bajay Ga & Farhad Humayun - Batti
Keyboard: Sheraz Siddiq

 Batti by Overload

Here I Go Again (Live) by Overload – Album-- Overload Live at the Apartment Sessions (2011): Here I Go Again covered by Overload has this beautiful retro sound; this track has this freakishly awesome keyboard vibe for me the start does it but gets lost somewhere in the middle but picks up again before the end. In between there are some brilliant moments the guitar solo very well executed. The track is outcome of a lyrical genius and Overload induces its instrumental magic, normally when I write a review I put the track in loop and with bleeding ears I write this review since I just can’t stop listening to it.

Vocalist: Farhad Humayun
Drums: Kenneth Xeerick
Keyboard: Sheraz Siddiq
Guitars: Ahmed Waqar & Umair Nadeem
Bass: Farhan Ali

 Here I Go Again (Live) by Overload

Jeet by Overload – Singles: Released on 14th August 2013 (Independence Day of Pakistan), this track has achieved the status of an anthem among all the patriots and nationalist out there. Jeet stands out as an explosive track can’t think of another track with such high innovation both in terms of lyrics and instruments used; sound engineering is so perfectly balanced. Love the Bagpipes filling in the background. This track is yet another Jeet for the highly skilled Overload.

Mastered by: The legendary Frank Arkwright at Abbey Road Studios, London
Vocals/Drums, Guitars: Farhad Humayun
Keyboards: Sheraz Siddiq
Dhol: Nasir Sain
Guitar Solos: Umair Nadeem
Horns: Punjab Brass Band
Bagpipes: Abid & Anna
Bass: Farhan Ali
Lyrics: Tahir Shaheer

 Jeet by Overload

Maybe Tomorrow (Live) by Overload – Album-- Overload Live at the Apartment Sessions (2011): Brilliant maintenance of Jazz ambiance associated with Maybe Tomorrow by Stereophonics. This track for me is lyrically astounding and brilliantly accompanied by somewhat filter-dubbed drum beats with lead guitar filling in with mastered sequences. I am in awe of this track its one beautifully arranged soft rock melody; lyrically it explores such raw pain and anguish and emotive deliverance by Farhad is one inspiring effort.

Drums/Vocals: Farhad Humayun
Guitars/ Backing Vocals: Haroon Shahid
Keyboard/ Backing Vocals: Sheraz Siddiq
Guitars: Shahzad Hameed
Bass: Farhan Ali

 Maybe Tomorrow (Live) by Overload

Mela Kariyay by Overload – Album-- Pichal Pairee (2009) & Cursed by Overload – Album-- Overload (2006): Times when Meesha Shafi was still partying with Farhad and guys; instrumentally this track has more or less the same shape asCursed from their album called Overload released in year 2006; apart from some audio reshuffling major change is that of addition of vocals by Meesha. As like previous tracks fusion of dhol and drums is highly pronounced, a punk feel induced by drums complimenting them are the eastern dhols; unlike the head banging usually associated with heavy metal or rock, Overload has made popular a more trance oriented head bangers; more like drugged and rhythmic shaking of head.

Vocalist: Meesha Shafi
Drums: Farhad Humayun
Keyboard: Sheraz Siddiq
Guitar: Mahmood Rahman
Dhol: Nasir Sian

 Mela Kariay by Overload

Neray Aah by Overload – Singles: Wow!!! Innovation at its best; sung originally by Saira Naseem for the film Choorian, if only Syed Noor had Overload doing the background score then Choorian would have been a cult classic not only for the Punjabi folks but for our polarized deluded youth as well. The song starts off with this epic electronic techno groovy tune had myself going back again and again and then comes the Neary Aah vocals and the synthesized bass-line extreme brilliance have shifted from M83 – Midnight City at repeat on my IPod to Neray Aah.

Vocals/Drums: Farhad Humayun
Keyboards: Sheraz Siddiq

 Neray Aah by Overload

One (Live) by Overload – Album-- Overload Live at the Apartment Sessions (2011): OK now there are some songs you don’t mess around with and One by U2 the cult classic is one of those tracks; Overload cover of the track comes across as a disappointment since tempo doesn’t sound right for this extraordinary rock ballad; since One for me is cataclysmic explosion of emotions and simplistic brilliance and the cover does live upto the standards set by Overload.

Vocals/Drums: Farhad Humayun
Keyboard: Sheraz Siddiq
Guitars/Backing Vocals: Haroon Shahid
Guitars: Shahzad Hameed
Bass: Farhan Ali

 One (Live) by Overload

Pichal Pairee by Overload – Album-- Pichal Pairee (2009): Raw energy gothic sounding Pichal Pairee is an amazing track; definitely an Overload of brilliance; apart form the ever so skilled percussions love the riffs in this track; the guitar solo ending the track is the very soul of it. Vocals are more than appropriate in this track; unlike the Buddhist Chanting done in Amjad Khan.

Vocalist: Meesha Shafi
Drums: Farhad Humayun
Keyboard: Sheraz Siddiq
Guitar: Mahmood Rahman
Dhol: Nasir Sian

 Pichal Pairee by Overload

The Kill (Live) by Overload – Album-- Overload Live at the Apartment Sessions (2011): Always been a big follower of 30 Seconds To Mars; was a bit anxious when listening to the The Kill cover coming from Overload but the effort was well worth it; the vocalist is amazingly talented backed by equally skillful artists but the original has this emotional prowess both when it comes to lyrics and vocals.

Vocalist: Ali Malik
Drums: Farhad Humayun
Keyboard: Sheraz Siddiq
Rhythm Guitar: Asim Khan

 The Kill (Live) by Overload

Zamana (Live) by Overload – 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

Zamana by Overload

Instrumentals:

  • A Thousand Miles by Overload: A sinister track, A Thousand Miles for me it catches one unaware from the melodies of soothing guitar and pipe half way down the track one is swamped by an intensity that encapsulates a sudden rage of balanced madness; and leaves one wanting more.
  • Days Gone By by Overload: An intense track and intensity rises as one traverses through the track; an experience on its own.
  • Dhamaal by Overload: Dhamaal opens with the eastern dhol and then the magic radiates as the whole band comes in full swing. This is one heavy track it’s incredibly layered and extremely loud; the synch element is incredible with keyboards and bassist pulsating behind the groovy sounds of drums and dhol.
  • Dig by Overload: Dig yet another explosive track highlights innovative use of electronic and techno elements in fusion with the signature sound of dhol, drums, synths and electrifying guitar riffs.
  • Kaykra by Overload: Simply in love with the guitar part in this track and the backing synth, Kaykra in its whole frenzy takes really hold of me when drum and dhols are given a rest and pace is reduced somewhere during the middle part.
  • Wearing Out by Overload: Starting off smoothly and then filled with signature sounds; Wearing Out does wear out one by its complexity and druggy nature. This track is filled with melodic synthesizer effects that takes the listeners up and down as it signifies a journey.

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