By Ahmed Farooq
The sun shines with a brilliantly odd grimace as it looks down on Lahore. It radiates a vicious heat wave as its inhumane tantrum takes over. Sporadic and intensely loud music reaches its delicate ears. In space no one can hear you rock but if the deaf are to hear the sound must be LOUD! Visions of revolutions, fear, human sorrow, violence, political instability, and all the sights that the sun once beheld was tolerable but this music, the eternal rage that surges out of Dozakhi’s mouth and the infernal guitar shreds by Sheraz followed by brutally insane pounding of the drums is enough to give the president Goosebumps and to cause the sun itself, tremble in fear.
Multinational Corporations, pioneers of Pakistani Grindcore and hardcore music, a band named after a Napalm Death song from the album Scum, waves the flag of Anarchy and bashes out against terrorism, capitalism, racism, military supremacy, patriotism and war. Formed in 2011, a joke-lineup consisting of pretenders decided to release a demo album entitled “Equality”. Sheraz Ahmed played the instruments, composed, mixed and mastered the tracks while Hassan “Dozakhi” Amin and Haider screamed out the gutturals. The demo was distributed to the underground following, punks and metal-heads and was gained a positive response from its critics. Saad and Haider lacked the interest and dropped out, the two warriors of Lashkar-e-Grind remained, Hassan and Sheraz, the brutes who paved the endless road for Crust Punk and Grindcore in the roughened and untamed streets of Pakistan.
Vicious Sikhs under the right hand of Bande Shah Bahadur, armed to the teeth, revolted against Mughal tyranny, Bhagat Singh gave out violent throes of rebellion as he was hanged, Jalib stung the hand of the totalitarianism and conservatives like a menacing bee followed by the endless onslaught of Faiz against the merciless authority. Lahore was the city that housed the rebels, a city where the breeders of malice were rejected by those who refused to accept the malevolent form of governance. Anti-conformists and anti-authority, Multinational Corporations, a band of angry kids, a disastrous duo, is now taking up a stand against the monstrosity that the country breeds. Raised up in Lahore, the winds that carried the cremations of Bhagat Singh, poetries of Jalib and Faiz have reached the eyes and ears of these kids, enraged by the rude awakening, they bang upon the doors of lady justice, demanding her presence and commanding her to fulfill her rightful duties.
2014, an eventful year, Imran Khan boasted blissfully and arrogantly, claiming himself to be the only true leader, formed alliance with the elderly Canadian, Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri. The troubled and tiresome duo hosted a series of misguiding demonstrations that seemed more like free music festivals that bore uncanny resemblance to the good old Wood Stock Festival but unlike Wood Stock the demonstrations lacked determination and willpower. At Lahore, PAT supporters were subjected to Lathi Charge at day break. At Islamabad, D-Block, PTI supporters were showered with storms of teargas and police brutality. In that very year, the band Multinational Corporations released their debut EP “Jamat-al-Maut” which was distributed in CD and tape form by various record labels including Salute Records and Transcending Obscurity. The title track “Jamat-al-Maut” is an anti TTP track; the song bashes on the bestial Islamist warmongers and declares the fiends as a “scum” that must be fought before it spawns. Other tracks in the EP discuss issues such capitalism, communism, Marxism and nationalism. The EP is a grim reflection of the evil that overshadows Pakistan.
Baba Bulleh Shah was exiled to Lahore under the accusation of heresy. There the humanitarian devoted his life towards poetry, spiritualism, preaching equality and weaving mystical tune with his lute. To the conservative conformist Maulana the art of Bulleh Shah was pure poison but to the people, they were deeper reflections of their inner selves, mystical and philosophical, confusing yet humorous, sweet yet bitter. Where words fail, art succeeds. Violence is never an answer to our questions. It is art that is unbound by laws that govern malice and division and it is music that reaches deep down into human souls and pulls it out from the realms of uncertainty. Multinational Corporations are on the right track, spitting on the face of authority and carrying out a series of peaceful and musical protests.