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Lessons of the Past: Trud, Jaunt, Kirov, and Bicycles for Afghanistan
Several new rock recordings, all the way from Saint Petersburg to Simferopol, express doubts about grand spectacle. Better, smaller forms of interaction are found both in memories and on stage.
Decaying Sound: Half Dub Theory, She Bit Her Lip, Lumberjack, and ANH
Various professional challenges emerge in these Russian recordings; most of them have connections to outside, social realia. It's only beyond the border––in Estonia––that civic pressures ease.
Loud Tunes for Dancing Bears: Serdceder, Otstoy, Mraz, and Smola
In the wake of a garage and punk festival in Moscow, the question has arisen of protest songs. Is that style, volume level, and its violence synonymous with hopes of civic change? The answer is surprising.
Post-Perfectionists: Vhore, I Silovye Mashiny, Suvital, and Starcardigan
Various forms of escapism are encountered in modern Russian music, all the way from storied space rock to garage hedonism and masochistic decadence. Examples of them all transpire this week.
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.
A Period of Survival: Parc Hotel, Gorodok Chekistov, Vhore, and Kira Lao
New rock recordings from disparate towns together suggest a philosophical shift - away from the classic songs of late-Soviet protest towards tales of consolation and empathy.
Romantic Imprecision: Cherepiho, Siberia*, Mandarinaduck, & Clever Clover
In a world of bewildering media and deafening jingoism, the appeal of noiselessness can be considerable. Just as attractive - in the face of fiscal or civic pragmatism - is the meaning of nothing at all.
Difficult Songs: Grand Astoria, Best Pessimist, Brave Men Run, and Pony
As the socioeconomic and political situations grow more challenging in Russia and Ukraine, new rock recordings turn away from civic actuality - towards introspection and psychedelia.
The Outlook from Home: Jars, IWKC, Theodor Bastard, and Vihrea
A well-established Moscow hardcore outfit insists that now is the time to sing in Russian. Local political problems require a local response and register. Not everybody agrees, however.
New Names and Pain: Ploho, Srub, Zvezdi, Vhore, and Super Besse
In June a music event called "Pain Fest" will celebrate rock music from Serbia, Belarus, and - most importantly - Siberia. The bands from that part of Russia cultivate a link to the punk traditions of their home.
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