Saturday, July 29, 2017

Russkaja - Peace, Love & Russian Roll



In honor of the rapidly approaching release date of Kosmopoliturbo, Russkaja's latest gift to the world of music, it is high time that I right a terrible wrong.  To my shame I have never written about Russkaja's previous album entitled Peace, Love & Russian Roll.  Therefore I invite you waveriders to pull up a chair if you're not already sitting and join me as first I analyze what exactly is the matter with me and then extol the virtues of this worthy record.  Cool?  Great!  Let's begin.

I absolutely flipped my lid over Russkaja's 2013 release Energia!.  When I first came across the eye-grabbing cover art and read the description "Russian Turbo Polka" I knew that this was music I simply had to hear.  My decision to hit the play button was immediately rewarded and I've been a fan ever since.  Fast forward to 2015 and I eagerly snatched up my copy of Peace, Love & Russian Roll.  That's when the trouble started.

Due to my headspace at the time I was looking to hear a predominantly metallic offering similar to Energia!.  PLRR starts off incredibly well with the fantastic opener "Rock'n Roll Today" but then rapidly incorporates that most dreadful of musical elements, variety.  Yes friends the one-dimensional, bludgeoning record that I wanted did not materialize so I put the new Russkaja aside.  Only after a considerable amount of time had passed was I able to revisit PLRR and truly appreciate the album for what it has to offer.

Russkaja, for those unfamiliar, plays music that mixes heavy metal, polka, ska, and Russian folk music.  Add to that dashes of pop and hip-hop and you'll have a solid foundation to understand what this band produces.  Make no mistake folks.  There is plenty of metallic bite throughout this album.  "Rock'n Roll Today", "You Are The Revolution", "Slap Your Face", and my personal favorite track "El Pueblo Unido" have aggression to spare.  Songs like "There Was A Time", "Parachute", and "Radio Song" fall squarely on the other end of the spectrum displaying the band's poppy, melodic strengths.  "Hometown Polka" it might surprise you to discover leans heavily on polka.  "Peace, Love & Russian Roll" has the most up-tempo ska-like sound on the album.  I could go on but I'll let the songs "Let's Die Together (Mon Amour)", "Lovgorod" and "Salty Rain" be surprises when you hear them.  It's more fun this way.

Waveriders, don't make the same mistake I did.  Listen to Peace, Love & Russian Roll by Russkaja.  Listen and be filled with joy!  Austrian/Russian turbo polka joy!  Believe me, this is a joy you need in your listening life.

-Penfold


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