On their debut album, Forward, Russia! sounds like a mixture between the Arctic Monkeys and the Hives but with the vocal stylings of Bloc Party.
Early in their career, Forward, Russia! thought it was a good idea to name songs with numbers, in the order they were written. So, that first album, Give Me a Wall, has 11 tracks, opening with “Thirteen,” closing with “Eleven” and ranging from “Seven” to “Nineteen” in the interim.
Because of this, it’s rather difficult to keep the various tracks straight, but I know it starts off strong with “Thirteen” and “Twelve.” Things take a bit of a turn toward The Killers and White Lies on “Nineteen,” the album’s fifth track.
On their MySpace page, these lads from Leeds categorize themselves as “experimental/indie.” That becomes evident as Give Me a Wall progresses through various spurts of thumping, yelling and chanting. On their Wikipedia page, one of the band members is even listed as “electric guitar, shouts, synth.” But it all seems to work pretty well and never crosses the line into unaccessible. If you end up giving this disc a listen, just a warning, the ninth track, “Seven,” may get stuck in your head for a couple days.
On their follow-up album, 2008’s Life Processes, Forward, Russia! follows the path of the aforementioned Bloc Party. They become slower, heavier and deeper as their sound grows more akin to TV on the Radio.
I only just recently listened to this album for the first time, so I don’t have a lot to say about it. But it seems pretty solid, and I’ll be interested to see where they go from here.
Unfortunately, it might be awhile before we find out, as they’re apparently on hiatus, according to their official website.
Below is the first song from their debut album. Hopefully, it gives you a pretty good idea of what this band is all about and why I loved this disc so much.