Grey Mouse: Trip

Russian experimentalists’ third – does what is says on the cover.

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When you go and put a didgeridoo on your album I for one am heartily predisposed to give it a spin (not you, Jamiroquai), and that instrument’s odd charm is one of many here. Trip is the third album from Moscow’s Grey Mouse, whose line-up has been so fluid that apparently it’s even changed since this recording.

This hour-long slab of music comprises drones, drums (or ‘drams’ as they’re pleasingly mistyped on the sleeve) and drama. A creeping didge lulls you into a false sense of serenity before spunky singer Victoria Barsukova lets fly with a string of f-and c-bombs, Kirill Chunikhin’s battery kicks in and then, well, all hell breaks loose.

Yet this is a trip of light and shade. In with Andrew Batalin’s chunky 70s-style guitar riffs are gentle interludes featuring Maxim Shutikov’s sitar, harmonica and jaw harp. There’s an appealing organic, jammed feel to the compositions, and a live-sounding production job adds guts to the whole enterprise.

Barsukova puts me in mind of another gutsy performer, District 97’s extraordinary Leslie Hunt. That band’s vibe is in here, along with a dash of SunnO))), Sabbath, and a tie-dyed spirit of adventure to which you can only say da.