Drinkscussing: Russian Girlfriends – Russian Girlfriends

Hey. Let’s make good on our promise to review that Russian Girlfriends record. I see you want to be in charge of the music tonight?

Changing it up haha

Also, this review has been like a month coming

Over a month! I know you loved that band and have been curious about how they’re keeping on without Adam. You gave it a few spins before, right?

A handful of spins the weekend it dropped, yep.

Initial thoughts before we go over it?

Sure. Yeah, we saw Russian Girlfriends a couple times over the last few years. First time was in autumn 2017 with red city radio and Pears and I remember them absolutely ripping.

I’d kept an eye out for em since that show and then we saw em again at fest in 2019. They dropped an album called in the parlance of my times; which was my favorite record that year.

Both instances we’d seen them as a 5-piece, so I was definitely curious to see how they’d continue on without their vocalist Adam, who was a true force and a dynamite frontman.

In any case before we get into the album, big ups to them pressing on.

All right, dj-man, time to start the music!

Sweet!

~Intro~

Oh it’s called intro?

Is it silence or are you having issues with getting things connected again?

The first track is, yep

Oh there is music, it was you.

Hahaha whoops

Very AFI kind-of intro.

Really digging the mood the intro sets.

Fan of the acoustic guitar on here

“hi after this there’s going to be a story”

Definitely sets the tide

~March~

I suppose they mean march as in marching and not as in March the month?

Probably!

I forgot how energetic this is musically. I really haven’t listened to this band even half as much as you – so I don’t have as much in my brain to compare it too.

Single Mothers with more riffs

Okay, I’m sticking with AFI, it has some serious Art of Drowning vibes.

Bopping head

Really like the catchiness of this track.

I always liked this sing / scream combo where the screams are more hardcore and punk and less… scream and grunt

Yeah, it’s super melodic!

Dual vox on this track definitely work

I thought the song ended there after “if you’ll be there don’t count me in” and got a bit thrown off by it going on, haha

Same here as far that vocal styling.

Actually had a limited tolerance for scream/HxC grunt when getting into punk haha

Hm. I did drift off a wee bit during that bridge before the last chorus. Think I lost my train of thought too haha

Regains its head of steam though!

This is a good song but it feels like two songs.

~Like a Drug~

Ooh nice guitar intro, almost Guns&Roses that riff there.

Opening simmering a bit mmm

And yeah now I’m getting your Single Mothers reference.

Loving the spoken vocals here

This has that energy the band has live still, which is absolutely amazing after going on without a key member.

My favorite mood, desperate anger.

Dang, could see this track was one of the singles that came out ahead of the record release

It was or it should’ve been?

Definitely captures their essence

It was!

Got it! Yeah, definitely makes a good single.

Okay let’s move on!

DJ man!

~House Fire~

One of them damn days type vibe I’m getting

I love these simple parts where it just feels as if there’s a story to tell in only a few notes.

Different dimension from what we have heard so far

Nostalgia with a twist of lost in the now.

Definitely pensive/reflective

Break-up song? Or a “unsure where we are song”. It’s hard to figure out on a quick listen whilst typing.

Aight

This bridge part is interesting instrumentally, it sort of fits the mood and I’m not often a big fan of songs that keep going on with instrumental moods.

Yes I know you are, hahaha

Yeah, I think this song really establishes a dynamic quite well.

This is that song that you play after a fall-out with someone you care for. Whether it’s a friend or lover, or damn, even part of yourself.

Change of pace type of track for sure. Wasnt sure how I felt about it on earlier listens-like it dragged a bit back then but this was fine.

~Hit the Ceiling~

It’s easier to fall into those songs when you’re actually having to focus.

Point taken

With a song title like that and an intro like this, this’ll be an angrier one.

Love the swag

Yeah this is the “fuck it, I’m getting over it song” of this record. Every record has one.

These shouts are this bands whoahs

Yep

Play this song at 11: rage accordingly

Oh this’ll be such a banger live.

For sure!

They shred too.

Guitars harmonize with other each real well

Okay I’m officially into this record so far. It’s almost like rock&roll emocore or whatever (still genre-dumb)

Oh we’ve got the build up in this bridge part don’t we.

Yeah there we go. The drums are getting louder and faster

And then it goes back to that rhythm part and there’s the angry chorus. Yeah, this is predictable in the best way.

Was thinking punk with a shout-out to solos of rock bands from the 70s and 80s (like that thin lizzy song I feel like I’ve heard a bunch-the boys are back in town). Definite rock and roll vibes for sure

maybe we really should get a car so we could blaze down the highway and crank this

Dude we can’t afford speeding tickets.

Duly noted. Enthusiasm got me on that comment haha

That’s what I mean haha, enthusiasm can’t afford hitting the pedal

Yeah like I said, it reminds me of the Art of Drowning / Sing the Sorrow era of AFI

We’re probably hanging out in the same ballpark

~Serf Rock~

Does serf mean anything as a word?

Peon. Commonly used for laborers during the middle ages

Okay I have gotten this far without mentioning that Pears is such an obvious band for them to tour with

But Pears is such an obvious band for them to tour with

Very much so. And it worked as far as I was concerned

This is definitely one of those songs that shows this band might have gotten dismembered, but isn’t even close to dead yet

Didn’t think of it that way but that really really makes sense

If listening to this for what it is, it’s really good and melodic. They even have enough of a sound to maybe break through some of the metal subgenres.

The solos on this part of the song were my favorite

I can see this mixing with early Avenged Sevenfold as well.

(I have no clue what later Avenged Sevenfold actually sounds like)

Makes two of us

Seemed a little more restrained and laid back than the track before it.

~How Low Can a Punk Get? (cover)~

Who was this by originally again?

Bad Brains

I’m almost certain of that

I have no right to talk about music as everyone can notice

Ending a record (or is this an EP?) with a cover is always an interesting move.

But it’s definitely not the worst version of this song I’ve heard

Energy is pretty fuckin infectious here. This song snarls

Definitely seeing this cover being a wild pit

I’m not -too- familiar with the original song so don’t have a lot of opinions, but it’s nice and loud and has the energy so I’m not complaining

Yeah this is one of those “crowd pleaser” covers.

Kinda felt like more an EP to me but that’s merely my opinion.

I think we often overestimate the importance of the vocalist, especially with bands like this that manage to drag a lot of energy from the instruments

I mean… I like Pennywise better with Zoli from Ignite.

Fair, so as it were…this was still really good. And Russian Girlfriends still have that sound that’s unmistakably them to me.

We’re always so afraid it doesn’t work without whoever we decided takes the lead, but there’s quite a bunch of bands that do manage well. I think this band is one of them.

Definitely inimitable as far as losing a vocalist but probably keeping that in house worked out well enough tbh

All in all, a commendable effort and an enjoyable listen.

Last thing, I really dug the cover art on this album.

Pianos on Fire should be a band name – it sounds like a band you’d listen to

Sure as hell would be haha


Listen to it here: https://russiangirlfriends.bandcamp.com/album/russian-girlfriends

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