Imbecile metal / avant-garde grindcore from Russia anyone? Well you are in the right place for that here! Maybe not as prolific as the likes of Rogga Johansson or Vardan but if I had to pick a third musician who is creatively overflowing with material it would be Vaarwel from Frozen Ocean. Unlike them you never know quite what to expect from him either and unless you had actually been tipped off you would no doubt not be aware that Weh.r Kexitt of Kiss The Hobo is actually him with other equally deranged friends occasionally helping out on something even odder than normal. This is entirely in Russian, the album title seems to translate to ‘Absolutely Unnecessary Connotations’ and track titles among the 21 here include ‘Visiting Lubrication,’ ‘Very Wet Person’ and ‘Involuntary urination in the reading room!’ I was kindly offered insight into translation help but preferred to go it alone and try and fathom out what this was all about and I am dispensing with the Russian language here completely, mainly as it tends to send WordPress loopy and can cause the site to crash.
Considering the amount of tracks and everything here including the way the album starts I was rather expecting an anarchic and tongue in cheek exercise in grind ala the likes of Rompeprop. To be fair that is a backbone here but there is oh so much more going on with it and these imbeciles sure like to mix it all up. There’s lots of samples in Russian and English throughout adding to the zaniness of it all and as the grindy judders and bestial growls start off it’s not long before things go off on a tangent and we are thrown into some pagan flavoured traditional Russian music which would not have been out of place on an Arkona album in the slightest. Clean vocals and accordion send us back right in time and this one gives us a right jolly jig around. Everything is quite apt to change from song to song and no doubt Russian speakers can follow the story in the CD booklet as the songs each have illustrations helping explain things; what the burst of pop music is all about though in midst of a slow deathly growler is beyond me. Some of Vaarwel’s techno keyboard sounds straight out his better known project occasionally pop up and although completely schizophrenic the mix of diverse styles somehow manage to meld together into a cohesive musical tapestry. If you have lived an (ahem) straight laced life however you may well not agree with this.
Occasionally very well-known pieces (or they should be) of music pop up instrumentally as with a track translated as ‘subduction zone of active stratovolcano’ sounding like an old 70’s TV crime drama. Unfortunately even with other’s help it has so far vexed me whilst annoyingly going round in my head. Later on another here apparently called Dumplings did unveil itself as a death metal work out of Popcorn by Hot Butter which had me off to watch The Muppets Swedish Chef cooking up a storm to it. Another track that particularly sticks out is ‘Ballad of Cheu Thi Chinh’ taking us off to heady Asiatic lands with a song reminiscent of Tengger Cavalry. Basically I could try and carry on explaining everything that gets flung at you over the 21 songs here but this would resemble a book rather than a review. The best thing you can do is just press play, dig in and see where this exercise in lunacy takes you. Luckily you can do just that at the click of the keyboard too as it along with other recorded material is all up on Bandcamp. Just don’t hit us up with any medical bills incurred as a result of listening to it.
(7.5/10 Pete Woods)