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Various Artists: The Grand Astoria - As Seen and Heard in Technicolor, True Stereo and Four Dimensions

I first became aware of Russian band The Grand Astoria a few years back and have subsequently reviewed three of their albums, all quite impressive if memory serves. On this compilation release there are five Russian bands and artists including the aforementioned Grand Astoria as well as Denis Kirillov, The Legendary Flower Punk, Organic Is Orgasmic and Michail Bukin.

The disc begins with Kirillov’s “Morning Dew”. The pianist’s playing is on full display starting out sparse before filling in the soundscape with the player’s enchantingly melodic and rich lines. For a completely different listening experience The Grand Astoria’s “Masterplan” is next with its heavily distorted doom-like riffs, scorching guitar solos and expressive lead vocals. Elements of psych also crop up, especially in the slowed down moodier sections. ”Party Zen” by The Legendary Flower Punk is just an excellent track. The groove is deep and accented with keys, synths, and electronics and with some tripped out guitar work the mood quickly takes on a psychedelic edge. Some excellent guitar soloing completes the package. The Stranglers (think Black and White era) influenced “Electric Sailor”, another Grand Astoria track, has fun written all over it, with the punky guitar riffs and positively infectious vocals. The quirky “Star Shepherd”, an Organic Is Orgasmic tune, has a meditative feel with its repeating guitar riff loop, saxophone-tinged rhythms and spacey background keys. The final track, “Like Venus Fading”, also from Organic Is Orgasmic, is really cool with its revolving guitar lines and mysterious atmosphere.

If you are new to music coming out of Russia these past few years you would do well to give a listen to The Grand Astoria and any of the other bands found on this compilation. It is indeed excellent.

Track Listing:
1. Denis Kirillov - Morning Dew
2. The Grand Astoria - Masterplan
3. The Legendary Flower Punk - Party Zen
4. The Grand Astoria - Electric Sailor
5. Organic Is Orgasmic - Star Shepherd
6. The Grand Astoria - Game Over
7. The Grand Astoria - One Hand Clap
8. Denis Kirillov - Viipuri Lumi
9. The Legendary Flower Punk - Subway Zen
10. The Grand Astoria - Everything’s Changing
11. Michail Bukin - Raindrops
12. The Grand Astoria - Why Do Fools Fall In Love
13. Organic Is Orgasmic - Like Venus Fading

Added: January 3rd 2022
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 94
Language: english

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