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Liberties: Hellspin, Hospital, Devushka Shkol'nika, and INDIANA Project
Several rock publications this week come from Moscow and its environs. Nonetheless, for all that potential, these bands toy with themes of decadence, paranoia, and even the apocalypse.
Chop and Change: Zorge, Flynotes, Oshean, and The Grand Astoria
Four December rock recordings from St. Petersburg and Izhvesk ponder some markers of adult success, such as generic clarity and domestic success. With questionable romance, all are dismissed.
Virtual Realities: The Uchpochmak, IHNABTB, Zhenya Kukoverov, and Ili-Ili
А sneaking suspicion that actuality is increasingly loud and intolerant leads to the search for other options: quieter love songs, wanton surrealism, or an escape into the realm of virtual bands.
Blankness: Neulovimye Mstiteli, Erotic on REN TV, Hypertoad, and Fuzzgun
A solo artist from Krasnoyarsk makes some dark quips about the tendency of life towards "misery and decay." Gradually, however, three simultaneous rock releases turn his humor into bona fide fatalism.
A Welcome Surrealism: The Retuses, Vihrea, 3000 Run, and AWOTT
Ranging from lo-fi wistfulness to noise-rock, these four collectives all look askance at social life. The only way for them to make sense of the outside world is through recourse to senselessness.
A Precious Spontaneity: BosaeSonca, AloeVera, ExCitrus, and P.L.U.S.
Some new recordings from Belarus and Russia endorse a practice of impromptu creativity. Various things, however, stand in the way of any such freedoms: the allure of profit, habit, alcohol... and fate itself.
A Promising Emptiness: Mooncake, Motorama, Pill for Doll, and IWFYLS
These Russian collectives all invoke the theme of emptiness in their newest recordings. Beyond the limits of dull actuality lie other towns, countries, and even planets. They are all frustratingly absent.
Battling Emptiness: Detieti, For You Earth, Tlushch, and Kshettra
From the outskirts of two capitals - Moscow and Minsk - come some songs designed to inspire. They discern a certain civic or ideological "emptiness" and hope to offer a consoling alternative.
Seasonal Insights: Red Deer, Theodor Bastard, IWKC, and My Michelle
Themes of transience come to the fore, either in terms of impermanent human achievements or the passing of the seasons. Once that universal flow is recognized, a sense of calm transpires.
Trance-Like Effort: uSSSy, Euglena, The Tolstoys, and Nikola Tesla
Four Russian bands champion their chosen styles, from "garage revival" to "quarter-tone rock," based upon Middle Eastern traditions. Across them all, diligence hopes to drown out reality.
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