I'm a little behind on this one, but it blew me away when I played it yesterday with bong smoke billowing out my bedroom window. St. Petersburg's Sonic Death meld garage riffing and psychedelic melancholy to create an EP that's at the top of my list for 2012.
The opener, "Наслаждение," is a mellow, mid-tempo misery stomp, setting the scene nicely for what comes next. "Сейчас (Сукин Сын)" is more concrete, with a snare drum echoing off the basic guitar chords and the singer talk-singing over the hum. "Ко Мне" features a sick guitar riff no doubt stolen from a Thirteenth-Floor Elevators tune with a freaked out, warbling bridge I can't get outta my head. The last track, "Пол," sounds like Yanka Dyagileva on a good day, with a backing band: tambourines, gently strummed acoustic guitar, and mumble-mouthed vocal phrasing.
What appeals to me the most about Sonic Death is the depth of these songs: the form is garage, but the ambiance completely lacks the cocky, swaggering feel of most American garage. In its place is a bitter(sweet), knowing weariness that most American bands can't muster. I don't know Russian but the music and words connect on a visceral level. As it happens, Dead Moon's "In the Graveyard" follows this EP when I play it on Itunes, and I'm gonna go out on a limb and compare the singer's voice to Fred Cole's: they don't sound alike, but like Fred Cole, this dude knows how you feel and would probably be happy to share some whiskey with you.
Get weird here.