Meanwhile Back in Communist Russia
Indian Ink
/jitter; 2001/

rating : I don't like marks but Barbara "the boss" H compels me to: 9 

 



more info :
official website 

As soon as « Indian Ink » starts, you know that Oxford based « Meanwhile Back In Communist Russia » will not flatter your ears with insipid pop songs. The first song begins with a heady melancholy riff which haunts us and gradually becomes louder. The feminine spoken words are talking to us right from the start as well. The lyrics deal with disillusion, disgust, despair and makes us wonder if we like to listen to strangers reading their diary which mostly recollects moments of shame and mistakes, misshapen sex, hangovers and regrets. The music is sometimes austere (while the lyrics are rather indicative of something else than an austere life…Irony ?)

« Indian Ink » is composed of two kinds of songs. Quiet ones give the impression that the music is trying to soothe, to reassure this whispering voice scared by the threatening atmosphere of a bad memory. « Sacred mountain » makes me feel of depressive moments taking place in a bleak bedroom (with a tap dripping next room of course). The other ones use this slow, quiet passages to bring all the more into relief white noise catharsis. In the brillant « No cigar », « Blindspot/Invisible band » and « Morning after pill »,  one can feel the weight of three overdriven guitars, a powerful bass, a noisy keyboard and these urban drum machine sounds. The drum machine’s beats and fills are surprisingly varied and its harsch sound evokes factory noises, industry.

This 8 songs album is really astonishing. I like it very much.

Meanwhile Back In Communist Russia, they paid their teachers with vodka because they no longer had enough cash.

The monologues may remind of Arab Strap but this feminine soothing British accent is somehow more appealing. It’s the kind of voice you’d like to hear when you’ve got a headache (in such a situation, you might like to hear other words though). The noisy guitars may remind of Sonic Youth or My Bloody Valentine… but this cd makes me really think of one of my favourite band : Prolapse. The drum is organic and there is no male voice on these songs but the general atmosphere is close to Prolapse’s first album…

I look forward to hearing more songs by Meanwhile Back In Communist Russia. Come on guys, incrust the Italian Flag with your sickles and hammers…

-SEB WOOd