Mumiy Troll: Vladivostok

From Russia with nothing.

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Down our way, calling it a “very nice record” is a bit of an oblique insult. But I fear that’s what Mumiy Troll have given us.

Just a very nice record. Guitars, keyboards and electronics are tastefully layered, although at times heavy on the Dr Who psychedelic noises and distortion on the vocals. The music doesn’t offend but it also doesn’t excite and, without exception, the songs all maintain an innocuous mid-tempo.

Singer/guitarist – and the band’s prime mover – Ilya Lagutenko belongs to the Russian equivalent of the Reed/Bowie vocal school, and also throws in some menacing Ming the Merciless that’s all his own.

His credentials are immaculate – growing up and holding on to rock’n’roll in Moscow and Vladivostok during the collapse of the Soviet Union – but his lyrics lack wit, anger, surprise or even old-fashioned pop choruses and hooks.

This certainly isn’t Pussy Riot. Just a very nice record.