Monday, October 27, 2008
Russian Punk Music
My favorite music is punk so I went on a quest to find Russian punk of any kind. After a Google search I came up with the band Гражданская Оборона. Translated as "Civil Defense" this band was started in 1984, being one of the earliest and most popular Russian punk bands. They separated the rock from the punk, spawning several other Soviet and Russian punk bands with their success. Civil Defense's leader, Egor Letov, was considered a anti-soviet and presented his dislike of soviet imperialism, militarism, and the war in Afghanistan in his thoughtful lyrics. They were heavily censored because of these lyrics, and were forced to record in hiding. Civil Defense's sound is electric or acoustic guitar, little percussion, and Letov's strangely deep voice. It wasn't my favorite but you can check out their music here: http://www.myspace.com/grobmusic.
I also checked out another Russian punk band called Король и Шут, "King and Jester." They were made in 1988 and are themed with Slavic mythology. Sounding more on the rock side of punk rock, they sounded a little more modern than Civil defense, but I was still looking for something more. You can check out their music here: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=121988146
I then found the Russian ska band Leningrad. They were made in the 90's and were known for their vulgar lyrics. For this reason the Russian radio stations were hesitant to air them. Front man Sergey "Shnur" Shnurov, said of the band, "Our songs are just about the good sides of life, vodka and girls that is." Despite censoring, they were able to gain much popularity and fame in Russia. One of their songs appears in Grand Theft Auto 4 in a mock Russian-themed radio station. I liked this band a lot even with a language barrier. If you like ska you would probably like this band. You can see their music here: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=30978500
Overall I was satisfied with the Russian punk scene and I hope to find some more bands out there.