Saturday, July 30, 2011

Grazhdanskaya Oborona-Poganaya Molodej LP (1985)

Only Soviet-era Siberia, home of the gulag, could have produced a sound this odd and eccentrically endearing. This isn't uniformly glum (musically, dunno about lyrically), but while NATO-zone bands were aping Black Flag in comparative comfort, GrOb were on the run from the KGB and recording into 4-tracks around Novosibirsk. I love American hardcore, but much of it rings false compared to GrOb-there's a warmth and humanity here that's very rare in punk.

 GrOb made massive strides compositionally between Poganaya Molodej and Optimizm. The stand out tracks are "zoopark" and "mama mama..." For want of a better lazy phrase, this is gulag dub: a lilting beat, contrapuntal guitar notes, and Igor intoning somewhere behind the amp, no doubt more interested in swigging from that brown bag at his hip. Oh, and the last track is one of the GrOb folks going to the bathroom. F'real. 

Oh God save history.  [//DOWNLOAD]
I'm sure Vladimir Putin would be happy to sell you a copy of this for twenty bajillion rubles on EBay. Instead, you should buy Shit in the Garden, Pink Reason's recent, and hrow some money Kevin Failure's way.  (Or paypal email at 
He's on tour now and doing research for a book on Siberian punk. People like Yanka Dyagileva and Igor Letov, and the Soviet punk scene generally, deserve a book  far more than most of their peers in the British and American scenes (Henry Rollins, Uk '82, fuck you!), so SUPPORT DUDE!

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