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Soviet Soviet

When Soviet Soviet’s sophomore album, Endless, came across my desk I had no idea what to expect; a “post-punk” trio from Italy doesn’t necessarily elude to anything too specific. However, after listening to Endless in its’ entirety (which, in my opinion, is how it was intended to be heard) numerous times it has easily become one of my favorite albums of 2016.  Endless is a dense, dark and beautifully textured body of work that can cater to the tastes of many different types of listener. In this record Soviet Soviet has found an interesting middle ground between the rhythmic structure of early 2000’s pop-punk and the experimental, even industrial side of late 80’s alternative and shoegaze. In short, I would describe them as the sonic offspring of Joy Division and Angels and Airwaves. This culmination of finesse and aggression is pulled off in a seemingly effortless fashion, and is a place you don’t see many modern artists existing.

Endless is a 9 track record, but easily contains the content of 15. While all 9 songs can stand alone as valid representations of the bands style and skill, perhaps the most impressive quality of this record is how cohesive it is from beginning to end. An obviously intentional and conceptual body of work, Endless has many interesting moments sprinkled throughout. Songs like “Remember Now” and “Going Through” are especially intriguing, combining what sounds like two completely different songs into one shared identity.  This bridging of sorts is done in a seamless, but also obvious way. The use of this songwriting method makes for what some would consider lengthy tracks, but ones that stay exciting and dodge monotony completely. In songs like “Pantomime,” one of the singles released from this album, you see the more aggressive side to Soviet Soviet, going into a massive and noisy bass-driven breakdown around the three minute mark, before going fluidly back into another chorus. Soviet Soviet’s ability to write upbeat and at times dancey pieces while still incorporating more experimental and noise-based song elements really makes this album what it is. Endless comes across as reminiscent of so many artists we know and love, while still remaining mysterious and obscure.

While every song on the record can easily be seen as kin to the others, placing Soviet Soviets’ Endless into the confinement of genre is a little more difficult. Endless is dark, colorful, noisy, melodic, thoughtful and also full of youth-like angst. As is the case with most good acts: don’t be fooled by the genre tag. There is a lot more to be said for this album than just “post-punk,” or some other over used marketing catch all. This record covers a lot of ground sonically, and between the industrial and dreamy textures it contains I believe there is truly something for everyone to enjoy here. It is easy to draw comparison to many other artists while listening to Endless, but that is more a testament to the diversity of the album rather than the band leaning on nostalgia.  This album may be a small step outside the comfort zone of the typical alt-rock fan, but a step you will not regret.