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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Soothsaying: Wild Pigs, Veins, IWFYLS, Harajiev, and Siberian Tsars
These five collectives have various ways of interpreting the future. It is viewed in terms of patience or a distant horizon. Others, less hopeful, prefer retrospection, psychedelia, and total despair.
Aspirations: Wild Pigs, The Seventh Floor, Silhouette, and Grand Astoria
The noisy garage rock of two young Russian bands is, unexpectedly, a reaction their anxieties. Some grand alternatives to despair - fantasy and boundless optimism - also run into various problems.
Fate vs Faith: CBiHCiTY, Fairy Meds, Motherfathers, and Hospital
Four new rock releases from Belarus and Russia express forms of protest against typicality. Social failings give rise to a contrary mood: not everybody, however, shares the same level of self-confidence.
Gratitude and a Smile: Kirpichi, Ghost Bastard, JuneJuly, and Vivienne Mort
The universal difficulties facing a Russian or Ukrainian collective today lead to a couple of logical conclusions. Bands either fall apart under the pressure or - oddly - become very close friends indeed.
Uneasy Freedoms: Hellspin, Skverna, Absorb the Sun, and Magnetic Lake
The phenomenon of Tumblr-wave has often been discussed in western webzines. In a Russian context, however, it adopts a very unnerving meaning.
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