Turbo Polka Party
This may not be the best time to be a band identified with Russia. Russkaja is an Austrian band founded by vocalist Grigorgij Majazaria, who is originally from Russia, and Ukrainian Dimitrij Miller. The band doesn’t take itself all that seriously. They proclaim their music to be “turbo polka,” a mashup of metal, ska, klezmer, and whatever other flavors fit the song.
The War hangs over everything Slavic like a leaden haze, and on Turbo Polka Party, Russkaja comes out swinging with their position on the conflict on “No Borders.” Grigorgij proclaims “No borders, no wars. We‘re equal, all the same. No nations, no fighting. Just stop this game.” And if that didn’t make it clear, a statement on the band’s website states, “We stand for love, unity, and humanity. The band Russkaja keeps representing peace and we say: Stop the war in Ukraine!” With that out of the way, the band can get on with playing with Slavic clichés and turbo charging the dance floor.
The second song on the album, “Russki Style,” celebrates/mocks the stereotype of the hard drinking, hard partying Russian. That’s what Russkaja is about, after all. It’s party time Slavic Style.
“Senales” incorporates some hip-hop for good measure. You may not imagine that oompah tuba, ska off-beat rhythms, and shredding metal guitars belong together, but when wielded by Russkaja, it just sounds right.
Songs are sung in English, German, Russian, and maybe other languages. I like that they sing in various languages — their home audience doesn‘t speak English as their first language, anyway. Listening to the craziness on Turbo Polka Party makes me want to see Russkaja in person.