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Shouts across the Void: Shop Assistants, JUUR, Stoned Jesus & Saint God
New garage, stoner, and doom rock recordings express a growing tension between dreams and actuality. The responses range from desperation to indifference.
From Ambitions to Anxiety: Red Deer, Starpowers, Phooey!, and Materic
Rock recordings from St. Petersburg and beyond fall to a growing sense of fatalism. Destiny seems to accompany the gradual, grim transition from hope into hopelessness.
Show Me a Dinosaur, Lucidvox, Karovas Milkshake, and Reserve de Marche
Four Russian rock publications play upon aspects of a psychedelic heritage. They either draw directly from Western traditions or extend the meaning of psychedelia from its roots in the Soviet '70s.
Kings of Infinite Space: Matushka, Vmgnovenijah, Parc Hotel, and Anderson
Fading faith in modern life or politics leads these ensembles to look elsewhere for superior values. Better ideas are found in shamanistic culture, experimental drugs, and other distant realms.
Transgression: WLVS, Bears Garden, Looch, and All Tomorrow's Parties
Four bands from Tashkent, Vladivostok, St. Petersburg, and Samara ponder the meaning of subversion. What defines a "rebellious" spirit and should it be directed against social failings?
Gallows Humor: Ilosthebalcony, Fanny Kaplan, Kul'tura Kureniia, and TBFW
Four young bands embody a spirit of protest, yet they're unnerved by the feeling that rebellion rarely changes anything. That combination of outrage and anxiety leads to a healthy self-irony.
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.
Loud Forms of Awareness: Jack Wood, Pole, Axis Motion, and Mars-96
Four bands from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tomsk, and Odessa reconsider the role of protest songs. Rather than call for overt social measures, they see the value of angry performance in increased awareness.
Hopes and Dreams: Splin, Cassiopeja, Darth_Vadly, and Ned Hoper
A young man from Omsk turns to mathcore in order to try and make sense of local experience. Other releases this week feel that fantasy, surrealism, and dignified introspection are better options.
Exertion: Weary Eyes, The Bezzoommies, 7 Dot Dice, and Cosmic Hurricane
Four rock bands speak of hard, physical effort - and the damage it does to long-term optimism. The daily grind eats away at a number of fragile ideals. One Moscow collective, however, has a possible answer.
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