-by Dristy Rahman
Bishesh Droshtobyo, the third album by Arbovirus attempts to incorporate everyone’s talents into a new version of their sound, one true to their roots but richer and more varied. The band is known for their energetic live performances, lyrics portraying a wide range of contemporary issues, always experimenting with the sound, and distinctive branding. One of the songs from this album, ‘School,’ became one of their sleeper hits. The first time I heard this song was during their album launch and it was incredible due to the nostalgia it gave from our school days and the emotion from hundreds of youngsters singing along with the vocalist was ecstatic. Arbovirus has been the go-to youth rock band and anyone who loves Bangla rock can find peace in their songs due to the mixed influence of rock it provides.
The songwriter, Asif Asgar Ranjan, tried to captivate the memories of our school days and the lyrics bring out the trivial details from the past, starting from the tic-tac-toe games during class, to the random pen fights. In a city where everyone is busy and most of the people are strangers, you tend to look back and think of school friends. We have come a long way from those school days, but we still cherish those in our memory. With this prevailing storyline, the song ‘School’ celebrates friendship and commemorates the good old days through the murmuring blend of music and primal language of friendship. Asif Asgar’s and Suharto Sherif’s guitar lines did a great deal with the single notes, carving deep feelings out of the song.
A K Ratul, with his unerring ability to find rhythms that fit with emotions, made sure each tune got its perfect beat. The song itself gives an adrenaline rush and also follows limited arrangements so that it can be performed live. Then again, it allows them to move into territory that would be impossible without its guitar playing, beat of the drums, bass, and programmed-percussion set up. It’s a quintessential Arbovirus song, easily recognisable the moment you hear it but taking a moment to place, allowing your memory to fill in the blanks as the song moves and changes around. The tremendous range and depth in the vocalist absorbs us, being able to shape meaning through subtle inflections and shifts in phrasing. It’s more like sharing his feelings with the world and the edges of lines get the expression just right, summing up the record’s lyrical concerns in a single line.
‘School’ reminds us that we are still the same people, and are still friends. It is a perfect live concert song that would make you relive your school days after you come home from work, or a song to listen to during road trips with friends. The song itself infects the youth through its versatile melody and beats, making it a rollercoaster ride of emotions and flashbacks. Hands down, this can be considered as one of the best songs of Arbovirus after their famous hit song, ‘Hariye Jao.’ If you love rock music and cherish your friendships, this is the song for you!