Monday, February 3, 2014

Grazhdanskaya Oborona-Optimizm LP (1985)

This was the first LP I posted when I started this blog (as Peachy Carnahan says in The Man Who Would be King, "Three summers. And a thousand years ago."). GrOb is a band I could spend a long time perorating about: why their music is so idiosyncratically brilliant; why they embody the 1980s as a cultural moment; why they made so much sense as a form of protest at a time when pop-music-as-protest had pretty much run its race in Europe & the States; and so on and so on....
....but as y'all know, that sort of pseudo-intellectual garble-gook is a waste of time. This is a brilliant album by a band that's still not very well known outside their motherland, despite Kevin DeBroux's heroic attempts to draw attention to them, including a feature in Vice Magazine. They should be as much a household name in the Anglophone punk world as venerated hardcore heroes like Bastard, Anti-Cimex, or Negazione.

They never will be a household name outside the Slavic-speaking/Cyrillic-reading world, though, by my guess. Why? It has nothing to do with language barriers, per se. Rather, it's because GrOb made fundamentally tender, vulnerable music with humor and dry wit and a sense of subtlety that's lost on people who just wanna be beaten over the head over and over and over when they listen to music. Which is basically everybody, from your average Katy Perry fan to kids drinking themselves stupid to Whitehouse: at the end of the day, what's the fucking difference between the two? One is offensively obvious and the other is obviously offensive, that's all.

GrOb is a rare band that resonates outside its language-group and, despite Igor Letov's turn to Great Russian chauvinism in the Yeltsin years, they remain an inspiration to dissidents and marginals everywhere. Like Ray Davies said long ago, "there's weirdos everywhere."

Listen to this piece of brilliance HERE! If anyone knows of recent re-issues of the GrOb LPs, please get in touch-I would happily buy and promote said reissues if they exist.*

Same goes for the Yanka Dyagileva LP, Aquarium, et. al. This stuff needs the sort of loving repressing already visited on nullnodes like the Exploited!

*Edit, 2.4.14: Re-up'd the file, this version should work!*

*Edit, 9.05.14: Re-up'd the file again, THIS should work.*


  1. Files seems to be corrupt. Mind uploading again?

  2. Thanks a lot. This is the kind of stuff that keeps me coming back.

  3. Cheers, man. I'll be re-upping the other GrOb LPs I posted in 2011 soon, so stay tuned.