Review Summary: New old-rock
Dolbushina and Pugach are a Russian sextet hailing from the city of Izhevsk, performing an interesting mash-up of alternative music with a touch of stoner rock aesthetics. The band’s approach to writing isn’t anything radically different, in a general sense, but the members certainly endeavour to make Ты не выключаешь!
(You Don’t Turn Off!) a unique and enjoyable experience regardless. Most impressive for a band of relatively modest size, the production quality and level of professionalism displayed on this album is absolutely first rate. Everything sounds full and lush, from the throbbing bass which coats the low end, to the delicate flute melodies twinkling above. Describing themselves as “new old-rock”, Dolbushina and Pugach sound exactly as they say; striking a middle ground between desirable nostalgia, and fresh ideas presented with a lively modern spirit.
Opening with the jangly, upbeat tune ‘Кофе-автомат’ (Coffee Machine), the band quickly establish their likeable style. Featuring strong female vocals at the forefront, catchy guitar leads, understated percussion, and the ever-present rumbling of the bass, these musicians remain restrained enough to leave the mix feeling open and inviting throughout. Commendably, the flute, when it does pop up, is always pleasant and only interjects when the moment calls for something more rather than being shoehorned into any available space – a good example of its fleeting but meaningful presence occurs in the third act of “Закрой мои глаза” (Close My Eyes).
Besides the EP’s unfortunate brevity, there's not a whole lot to be disappointed with over the four tracks delivered here. I personally really appreciate little touches like the semi-hidden track at the end of ‘Лучший друг’ (Best Friend), which features what appears to be a more traditional-sounding acoustic reworking of their third track “Redirect”, this time complete with Russian lyrics rather than the English deviation on the studio version. Perhaps a little more attitude or experimentation could go some way to improve the overall experience, but it would be difficult to judge whether or not a full album of Dolbushina… material would even require something “extra”, given the diminutive sample size. For what it is, Ты не выключаешь!
is a very enjoyable and satisfying mini-album with plenty to like about it.