The Soviettes are a fearsome foursome from Minneapolis that make snappy, punchy and to the point power-pop music reminiscent of Bikini Kill, The Gossip, X or a really mad Sleater-Kinney.
Imagine if you will, the coolest show ever in the worst dive ever. The band onstage sounds like the Beach Boys, Go-Go’ s and The Ramones in a knife fight over hairspray and alcohol. In their zeal to a tease their hair and get drunk, this band flat out kicks some ass. That band is The Soviettes, and they will change your life.
Although LPII clocks in at nearly twenty-five minutes, the time spent is well worth the effort. The Soviettes have made an album that is insatiable. You will fight it and deny it and feel guilty as hell for doing it, but immediately after “Come On Bokkie” screeches to a halt you will reach out, push some buttons and fervently play it again.
This is because The Soviettes make songs that are so crisp and curt you really don’t mind the abruptness. The band’s propensity for cold endings and fast stops may initially frustrate you. But before you can shake your fists in rage, they have moved on and picked another fight. The record opens with “Ten,” an edgy gem with power chords ablazin’, and moves onto a fast paean to falling down hard, “#1 Is Number Two.” The jangly “Winning Is for Losers” is raw and energetic. “Tonight” is a nice departure; it is the closet that The Soviettes will ever get to a power ballad. It starts softly and folds itself inward.
It is at this point that you know these guys are for real. “Pass The Flashlight,” “Love Song” and “Don’t Say No” are absolutely perfect, furious doses of sonic caffeine and noise. The indie fused “Channel X” aptly displays The Soviettes’ unity and tightness. “Whatever You Want” is a toxin so potent that you’ll be left seeing red. However, the finest moments on LPII are the solid “Angel A” and the spastic “Love Song.” Both are catchy-as-hell powder kegs that explode in your mind and won’t go away. The boppy “Portland” manages to rip off a Cure lyric without sacrificing tenacity. It’s as if Jane Weidlin went over to the dark side and joined Kathleen Hanna’s next band.
In general, The Soviettes sound like a band sporting for a rumble. Despite their rough punk edges, they mix infectious vocals with pounding percussion and snappy guitar hooks. The band’s sense of timing cannot be recreated. It is spontaneous, fast and precise. Like all good workers, The Soviettes sweat and toil with great care. This enables them to flat out rock and thrash without upsetting their pop sensibilities.
LPII won’t change the music industry or end the crisis in the Sudan, but it will restore your faith that good punk rock records are still being made. This is a band that is going places and will definitely be heard from again. Tasty stuff!
The Soviettes: www.the-soviettes.com