Russkaja
No One Is Illegal


4.0
excellent

Review

by Scuro EMERITUS
May 30th, 2019 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's propaganda time!

Russkaja are back baby, and so am I, appearing once again in my role as faithful emissary and trusty guide to lead you, dear readers, on this cross-country, multi-cultural audio journey. Accompany me, take my hand, and dip your toes into the colourful waters of Russkaja. You’ll inevitably desire to dive into the depths of their remaining discography, once you’ve splashed around this supervised zone first.

Opener ‘Love Revolution’ kicks things off in classic Russkaja fashion, as a catchy, jaunty number accompanied with all the flare and eneяgia this seven-piece genre blending project can muster. Chants of “viva la revolution” introduce the combined might of Georgij Makazaria’s gravelly vocals and the attention-grabbing trumpets, both of which contribute significantly to the band’s signature sound. Further on, ‘Here Is The News’ delivers a critique of said media, with its memorable hook repeating the track title followed by a quick verdict: “it's propaganda!” I suppose now is as good a time as any to briefly mention, if it wasn't already evident, that Russkaja aren't shy about promoting their political and social values, albeit with much fun and positivity. Nevertheless, this is sure to turn away certain listeners, although those are potentially not the kinds of listeners who would show interest in an album called No One Is Illegal in the first place so...moving on. It's impressive to consider how consistently these Austrian musicians manages to deliver something new and interesting track after track. ‘Kosmopolit’, for example, is kosmopoLIT to say the least. Featuring the usual Russkaja blend of rock and ska, it also includes an incredible bridge merging a collection of unusual instruments from all over the globe. I mean, come on, where else can you go to hear a sitar and didgeridoo solo blanketed either side by a robot voice chanting the song title? That's right, nowhere.

One trend that's noticeable fairly early on is the increased percentage of English lyrics used here in comparison to prior albums. Certainly there's still plenty of linguistic variety on display, but considering the universality and saturation of the English language, the decision to tip the scales further in its favour does somewhat reduce the “exoticism” of No One is Illegal, with the uneven distribution also impacting the kosmopolitan atmosphere that makes Russkaja such a treasure. Naturally, it increases sing-along-ability for most audiences too, so some will rejoice upon hearing this direction. Instrumentally, the band retains their unique blend of musical influences, sourced from every corner of the European continent and far beyond – all of this is still just as awesome as usual. Russian folk, fiery trumpets, Eastern-polka, electronic flairs, pop sensibilities, and a hundred other sonic flavours I couldn't even begin to identify geographically all somehow coalesce to produce something super enjoyable. Without a doubt, that's the true magic of Russkaja.

While not quite as impressive as 2017’s Kosmopoliturbo, Russkaja’s latest release has a lot to offer for lovers of…well, just about anything. You want it, they got it. Check ‘em out.



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user ratings (13)
3.4
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
May 30th 2019


12013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's been ages since I reviewed anything, very rusty. Here's the single: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=N7S9GUGYDj8

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2019


32047 Comments


Where you've been Scuro!? Missed you around these parts!

ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
May 30th 2019


12013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ahhh life's just been moving faster and I'm trying to catch up, y'know how it is (:



Hopefully I'll find more time to review soon. I've missed writing.

ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
May 30th 2019


12013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice massive avatar by the way.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2019


32047 Comments


Well, nice to see screaming Fenriz again man, (and to read you!).

And about the avy, yeah man I was coronated the site's biggest asshat. Quite the accomplishment.

ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
May 30th 2019


12013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha, congratulations



Thanks for reading too, dude

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2019


18318 Comments


good to see you back, ma brova.

great rev. this thing sounds batshit

ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
May 31st 2019


12013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah it gets pretty crazy, hope you dig it if you give it a go (:

J() Alexander
May 31st 2019


7914 Comments


My countrymen illegal.

Orb
June 2nd 2019


9390 Comments


This sounds like a real treasure. Awesome review. Gonna scoop this asap.

ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
June 3rd 2019


12013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome (: hope you enjoy it!

Orb
June 3rd 2019


9390 Comments


This is... Odd. Odd in the way that makes me want to share it with friends even though I shouldn't lol

ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
February 4th 2023


12013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Such a shame these guys have dissolved due to the war in Ukraine

Flugmorph
February 4th 2023


34361 Comments


new album though

Flugmorph
February 5th 2023


34361 Comments


"Hey there,

the band RUSSKAJA has ultimately decided to quit with the band. This is after 18 years very sad news of course, but the ongoing war in Ukraine that was initiated by Russia on Feb 204th 2022 makes it impossible for us to continue with an image and style that is making satirical use of Soviet symbols and language. The band is called RUSSKAJA (transl. Russian) and based a lot on those attributes with a singer that was born in Russia and brought to Austria more than 30 years ago.

What once was fun in the band's music is nothing but bitter now and the band members cannot go on stage anymore without feeling that bitterness in every note played and every word sung. All the lyrics written have a totally different meaning now and none of the bandmembers wants to represent this since in these times it is only associated with war, death, crime and blood spilled.

The time has finally come to stop this. We tried to do statements, position ourselves publicly for what we stand and that's peace and unity. But we can feel that it's not enough and also it will not change anymore. We realized that this war will not stop soon and even if it would, the Soviet imagery and style is forever damaged now.

RUSSKAJA has also become a target in the web, there's shitstorms everyday and with every new single we release. People call us Russian terrorist and pro-Russian even if we are the exact opposite. Finally we also care about the safety of our crew and all people involved and we don't want to risk anything violent happening when we're on the road and playing shows.

To most of us RUSSKAJA was not only our band but it was also our existence. This decision is very very sad for all of us but after all that happened since Feb 24 2022 we don't see any other chance here.

We hope that all fans, promoters & partners can understand the hell we're going through taking our own baby to the grave after all these years. As a farewell gift we wanna give you our new album TURBO POLKA PARTY.

Peace

RUSSKAJA"

ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
February 8th 2023


12013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

True the new album is a cool parting gift. It’s still disappointing, but I get why they did it.



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