I’ve stopped questioning how people are finding my information to submit music to. I’m enjoying this trip so much and love blindly clicking on emails and reviewing albums from bands I have never heard of. That’s the plan for tonight. I don’t know what I’m in the mood to listen to but I want something new so let’s try out Soviet Films’ new album ‘Familiars’!
“Jamara” starts off super quietly and, although it builds throughout the minute and forty-four seconds, it really didn’t give me so much as an inkling as to what to expect from this six-song album from this UK-based band. Regardless, I was intrigued but I’m not sure I was quite ready as the album moved into “Hexxus”. The beautiful and calm nature of the intro track definitely didn’t prepare me for the wall of sound that hit my house (and that of my neighbor) but it was a pleasant surprise. “Hexus” is a powerful track and really bounces all over the place as far as the rock scene goes. There are more moments that have just a very cool indie-pop vibe but those moments are interrupted by a cacophony of sound and power. Although this track is over eight minutes long, I found myself completely lost in the multiple movements throughout this piece and, before I knew it, time was up, and “Rubers Law” was taking over my house.
I love the guitar tone that kicks off “Rubers Law”. It’s crackly and a little bit retro feeling but is quickly replaced by a clearer sound and almost Incubus-styled vocals. Much like Hexxus, this track has so many different elements and, although it’s another lengthy one at over six minutes long, it just was not enough time for me to sort through all of my thoughts on this track and all of the influences I heard. Regardless, this was a favorite track of mine instantly.
“Gallows Humour” has such a dramatic opening part that it’s impossible to not just get sucked into the world that is Soviet Films. With dazzling guitars, a steady bassline, and hard-hitting drums, it really just captivated me before blasting me over the head with a wall of sound that Soviet Films pulls off so perfectly. I can not stress the amount of power in this track. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the pure amount of talent. From the guitar work to the bass to the drums, and all the way to the vocals, each part is so complicated and so hard to follow but somehow all work together and nothing ever seems to get lost in the mix. It’s seriously brilliant songwriting and song structures that are unique but really showcase everything this band has to offer.
Although the beginning of “Without Killing Lions” seems frantic, there’s a sense of control in it all. The vocals don’t miss the hurried pace of everything going on which adds a super cool element and really expands on what I was saying during “Gallows Humour” about each member having a specific part full of notes yet somehow all coming together to form a cohesive sound. When I first pulled this album up to review, I got worried after seeing how long the songs are with the shortest one being five minutes (outside of “Jarmara”) but now I get it. Soviet Films literally needs that much time to layout each of these songs in all of their genius.
“Vinegar Tom” closes out this track with a super interesting bass part to kick things off. It’s almost artsy and even bridges into the world of ambient before the rest of the band comes in and takes this ending rack to a world that only Soviet Films could take it to. Throughout this track, there’s something a bit mystical about the instrumentation. It really helps make sense of “Jarmara”. Although not as calm and quiet as “Jarmara”, “Vinegar Tom” does a great job of bringing this album full circle and closing it with aspects that started it off.
‘Familiars’ by Soviet Films is such a powerful piece of work. This is one of those albums that refuses to sit in the background. It probably wasn’t the best choice for me when I was debating getting ready for bed but it was also the kick in the butt I needed to get through the rest of my chores tonight. If you’re a music geek, this album is seriously the one for you.
My Favorite Track(s): “Rubers Law”
For Fans Of: Power; Non-traditional songwriting; Geeking out over music
Mosh-ability: 8 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie laid right next to my desk; Autumn bolted upstairs as soon as “Hexxus” hit my speakers
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 9.3 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 9 out of 10
Check Out Soviet Films Here:
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