Comrade Ambassador - Mumiy Troll
Remember the Monkeemobile? There couldn’t be anything cooler when I was a kid. Designer, Dean Jeffries built the custom car from a 1966 Pontiac GTO convertible. To be in a rock band, cruising around in a radical rod was my adolescent ideal. Many thousands of miles away in Vladivostok, Siberia, Ilya Lagutenko had similar boyhood dreams, but suitably altered by his particular and peculiar environment. Vladivostok was the gateway to the Pacific for Soviet submarines. When the Union collapsed and Ilya saw the boats cut up for scrap, he thought it would be cool to pimp out a decommissioned fish and tour the world with his band, Mumiy Troll. Naturally, it would be difficult driving a sub through international waters without causing an international incident but … Comrade Ambassador is the latest release from Mumiy Troll, arguably the most influential band to come out of post-Soviet Russia. Poetry is key to Russian rock and the lyrics are scrupulously translated to English in the liner notes to preserve their essence and artistry. The music pays bouncy bass-laden homage to 80’s new wave with lots of twangy guitars (ironically iconic to western music). A bonus is their cover of California Dreamin’, an unabashed tribute to where this record was made. Ilya explains, “It’s so expense to record in Russia or Europe, so someone suggested we go to America and take advantage of the falling dollar. We Googled ‘Best recording studio in Los Angeles’ and that is how we found Village Recorders.” This is the disc they hope will break them in the States and Mumiy Troll is going to make a lot of noise about it. Don’t expect this band to run silent, run deep.