The government of the Maldives doesn’t want the nation’s first rock band on the radio. That suppression seems even more unreasonable when you put on this debut solo album by one of the three original members and out comes a sober throb of guitar, either “Manjemen” or “Fihivalu” or the one he wrote when he was studying software engineering in the UK and Princess Diana died, “Dhiyaanaage Huvafen”. Musically, he prefers the ’60s and ’70s. “I grew up with that classic rock, it’s part of me,” he told an interviewer.
In “Sihuru” he tenses up for hard rock and sounds gawky, but relaxation turns him intense. The bodu beru drums make doorknocks. Why does parliament want to squash this music? You read a summary of one of the Dhivehi-language songs and you think you’ve found the answer. “A desperate plea to a nation blinded and divided by corruption and politics. The song begs every Maldivan to stand up against injustice… .” (“Rasge”, a jangly slowburn.)