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(32:59; [addicted label] )
St. Petersburg-based quartet Ciolkowska are back with their eighth release, just two years after ‘Avtomat Proshlogo’. Unlike the last album there are no guests on this release, and they have also on board a new bassist, so the line-up now is Egor Svysokihgor (vocals, guitars), Alesya Izlesa (ukulele), Alexandr Monah (bass) and David Aaronson (drums). They describe themselves as “Music in the style of space rock. We make a sound, as if a star curtain falls on the Russian expanses.” I am not too sure of that to be honest, as while this does have some space rock influences at times, it is far more psychedelic, although also mixed at times with the likes of Foo Fighters. It is not only the vocals, which are often off key, which makes one realise this is not a Western album as the ukulele is an important part of the overall sound, not something one often hears in rock groups. It is an eccentric release, with lots of picking from both ukulele and guitar, with the music often far more melodic than the vocals, which drags the material back. The band sound happier when they are working in a purely instrumental aspect, and in that respect some of the songs are actually quite poppy with hooks, such as second track “Ęîâđčćęč (Gingerbreads)” which contains some elements of Talking Heads. Monah has certainly settled in with the band, providing some very strong basslines, but there overall there are too many times when the rhythm section seem quite separate from the rest of what is going on, as they are controlled and dynamic while the ukulele and guitars are quite strident and staccato, and just don’t work with the vocals. It is an album which is going to polarise listeners, and while I think I understand what they are trying to achieve this just does not work for me.
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