Chat Chapeau CCR 015-2
Full Price (53 mins)
Cultured Viennese folk don’t much like playing catch-up to Berliners, and with Berlin producing so much good music these days – especially on the mesh scene with explosive party bands like Rotfront – it is no surprise that locals are getting excited about this band. The seven members of Russkaja (pronounced russkaya) – rock band plus brass section and violin – are of the same hard-dancing Russian ska-latin-gypsy-klezmer scene that will be familiar to fans of the Russendisko compilations. Lead singer Georgiy Makazaria’s growling, high-energy style recalls Leningrad iconic front man Sergey Shnurov, and his band put Gogol Bordello – with the latter’s heavy style over weak substance approach – to shame. Russkaja juggle ideas, fat riffs and musicianship with aplomb: ‘Hey Stoj’, flips from acid jazz Hammond organs via distorted guitar and sax riffs to a furious ska beat; party tune ‘Dope Shit’ tears up 70s disco; ‘Do Utra’ is a cha-cha-ska tour force with plenty of swagger and a fiery trumpet solo from HG Gutternigg. The production is wide and crisp where it needs to be, leaving plenty of room for Makazaria’s brassy voice to sit atop the pile like king of all he surveys. Highly Recommended.