Most readers' knowledge of contemporary Russian music is likely to be limited to faux-lesbian pop duos, but Mumiy Troll have actually been releasing records for nearly 30 years; though this is the first in English. Avid Eurovision fans may recall them as Russia's 2001 entrant and those wanting a live experience of the band can catch them in early September with a couple of UK outings.
To release a whole album in a language other than your mother tongue is always laudable and, in this case, certainly makes for a more accessible listen but, crucially, it wouldn't have been a bad audio experience in foreign words. The strutting 'Fantastica' with its chiming guitar parts is only let down by the faded outro, whilst 'Love Contraband' is a solid follow up. Utilising synths more prominently, 'Sorry Tiger' has an eighties rock song feel, while the work of The Eagles is aped by 'Lightning'. The middle clutch of tracks including 'Nothing Promised' and 'Not Tomorrow' prove inoffensive and forgettable, but 'Vladivostok Vacation' provides a great injection of energy and enthusiasm as the penultimate song. There may not be quite enough impact here to have you rushing into the extensive back catalogue of Mumiy Troll, but there certainly would be no reason to purposely avoid it either.
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