Russkaja
Energia!

This actually might be the greatest album ever recorded and I’m not kidding around, either. Now, ten seconds into Energia!, the stone-faced, grizzled and too-serious metalhead out there will turn it off and squawk something along the lines of, “What the fuck is this shit?!” and quickly reach for his can of Old Milwaukee and vinyl copy of Killers.

That’s almost what I did, but considering I was on board to do a review of this album, I had to continue listening. What transpired during the ensuing 35 or so minutes was some of the zaniest, wackiest, most contagious music to be unleashed in recent memory. To call Russkaja a metal band would be shameful. To call them a polka band would be ignorant. To call them a reggae band would be criminal. To call them awesome would be the biggest understatement since the time Rob Halford said something along the lines of, “I prefer men.”

Russkaja is a Vienna-based “Russian Turbo Polka” band that is out to do one thing and one thing only: create music that is the definition of a good time. The seven members just bomb away with anything they think fits: accordions, trumpets, polka and reggae, violins, vicious metal (at times), and more. The end result is a collection of songs that are simply impossible not to enjoy or dance to. This is a band that can entertain a wedding as well as a packed theatre overflowing with raging mosh pits.

One can’t pinpoint anything about Russkaja’s sound because it’s so diverse. At times there is plenty of No Doubt/Sublime type of ska-punk; other times it’s thrashy metal; and then at others it’s like you’re at some sort of drunken Eastern European pierogi festival.

Clearly this is an album that the overwhelming majority of the close-minded metal battalion will cast off as some silly, nonsensical goofball garbage. But that’s the beauty of Russkaja: they are silly, nonsensical and they’re all goofballs, and their music is the embodiment of all of these adjectives, plus about a hundred more. If the music on Energia! can be compared to one thing, it’s probably typhoid because of how god damned infectious it is.

In closing, Energia! is something that absolutely has to be heard and cranked to 11. It’s so wacky, so awesome, that it’s practically indescribable. But what’s even better is that this is the first time I’ve ever even heard of these guys and they have a few previous albums and EPs. Essential purchases those are now, and an essential purchase for you, this is. It’s a guarantee that you’ll hate me for turning you onto such a kick ass band and album because it’s not Iron Maiden, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse or anything else of the norm. You’re welcome.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mike Sloan
May 13th, 2013

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    The title track has this idiotic video. the song is so catchy it’s stupid.


  2. Commented by: Sentient 7

    This review perfectly reflects the album, brilliant. I would never have checked it out if it wasn’t for this review and I’m glad I did. For me this is up there with Igorrr and Diablo Swing Orchestra in wackiness stakes. Thanks man.


  3. Commented by: vugelnox

    wow that music video is something else…


  4. Commented by: gabaghoul

    best party music since Gogol Bordello


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