Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
Video Weather icon 30°C
DKI Jakarta, Indonesia
30°C Partly Cloudy

Dry and mostly cloudy throughout the day.

  • weather-icon


    26℃ - 32℃

  • weather-icon


    25℃ - 32℃

  • weather-icon


    25℃ - 31℃

  • weather-icon


    26℃ - 30℃

AlbumReviews: '€˜Sinestesia'€™ by Efek Rumah

  • Stanley Widianto

    The Jakarta Post

| Fri, January 22, 2016 | 04:26 pm
AlbumReviews: '€˜Sinestesia'€™ by Efek Rumah

Sinestesia, alternative rock band Efek Rumah Kaca'€™s third output, is a classic album. That'€™s a big statement given it'€™s 2015 and taste is getting more and more spoon-fed.

But seriously, no amount of increased commitment or hard work could'€™ve made Sinestesia a better record than it is '€” it'€™s nuanced and emotional and just a staggering work of art.

Sinestesia, however, is not an event; it was surprise-released at night, with the press-release announcing it only two sentences long. The songs are all named after colors '€” red, yellow, orange, blue, green and white '€” the color that founding member Adrian (bass), who suffers from a virus that has left him blind, sees when he hears each song.

Each song (or suite) consists of several fragments that segue so seamlessly you'€™ll lose track.

Musically, Sinestesia is a huge record that zeroes in on Cholil (guitar/vocals), Adrian and Akbar'€™s (drums) maximalist tendencies, previously nodded to with their side project Pandai Besi.

Biru (Blue), consisting of songs '€œPasar Bisa Diciptakan'€ (Markets Can Be Created) and '€œCipta Bisa Dipasarkan'€ (Creations Can Be Marketed), boasts Efek Rumah Kaca'€™s signature rock sounds with tribal vocals, noise guitars and furious lyrics.

Elsewhere on the album, any traces of Efek Rumah Kaca swerve onto a darker, stylistically ambitious trajectory. Jingga (Orange) '€” consisting of '€œHilang'€ (Vanish), '€œNyala Tak Terperi'€ (Unrelenting Fire) and the instrumental '€œCahaya, Ayo Berdansa'€ (Light, Let'€™s Dance) '€” seizes you with its post-rock repetitive guitar before bowing down to a solemn dirge sung by Adrian.

Merah (Red) '€” consisting of '€œIlmu Politik'€ (Political Studies), '€œLara Dimana-mana'€ (Suffering Everywhere) and '€œAda-ada Saja'€ (Ridiculous); and Hijau (Green), consisting of '€œKeracunan Omong Kosong'€ (Poisoned by Lies) and '€œCara Pengolahan Sampah'€ (Garbage Management), also boast beautiful experimental compositions; the former having a Middle-Eastern tone to it.

And then behold: Putih (White), consisting of '€œTiada'€ (Non-existent) and '€œAda'€ (Existent). This is a song whose sincerity triumphs over its size. Cholil'€™s shattering falsetto cuts through among swaying piano and eerie backing vocals. This is the band'€™s best song.

But it wouldn'€™t be an Efek Rumah Kaca record without Cholil and Adrian'€™s lyrics. It'€™s unfair to nitpick at everything out of context, but there are themes running through this record: a careful but snarky look at politics, some very personal stories, run-ins with death and an optimism emanating from that. Their lyrics waste no time just being pretty.

After a seven-year hiatus, the band has broken its silence with its loudest statement to date. It'€™s a classic record through and through, because it demands your attention and sure as hell deserves it. I don'€™t know what the future holds for this fine collection, but to me, it'€™s perfect, and I hope it is to you too.