¡Forward, Russia! – Life Processes

Leeds-based indie rockers ¡Forward, Russia! will be releasing their sophomore effort on Cooking Vinyl later this month in the UK. The follow up to 2006’s Give Me A Wall deviates from the band’s previous methods of releasing new work both musically and superficially. Since its inception in 2004, ¡Forward, Russia! titled their songs only with numbers and in the order they were written, having released singles “Nine” and “Thirteen”/”Fourteen” prior to Give Me A Wall.

The new album, Life Processes, has “actual” song titles and the band’s sound has progressed considerably. With the help of producer Matt Bayles (The Blood Brothers, Minus The Bear, Pearl Jam), ¡Forward, Russia! moves away from its scratchy, post-hardcore past in favor of eerie melodies and softer, prettier sounds. The album’s final song, “Spanish Triangles,” “will be mentioned most with regard to our new direction,” according to singer Tom Woodhead (front right).

The disc begins with “Welcome To The Moment (The Rest Of Your Life),” a song which shreds from the second it begins. It’s hard, fast, and pounding, with some of the sickest guitar playing I’ve heard in a while. Much of the album is upbeat with Whiska‘s (back left) driving riffs and funky keys, compliments of Woodhead. “Don’t Reinvent What You Don’t Understand” is a stand out track for me, as it begins plucky and energetic, then moves into a slower tempo, yet drummer Katie Nicholls (front left, clearly) maintains a hard and steady beat. A sweet and soft melody follows in “Some Buildings” created by a distorted guitar underneath a chrous with a religious motif: “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust / Jesus Christ and Lazerus.”

Before reading anything about CDs, I give them a pure, unadulterated listen, so I earmarked “Breaking Standing” as a single, I wasn’t surprised to find out later that ¡Forward, Russia! and Cooking Vinyl had done the same. Melodic keys and riffs coupled with pounding beats create an infectious hook not found anywhere else on Life Processes. The single “Breaking Standing” drops on April 8th, but the music video can be seen/heard here:

Track 9, “Fosbury In Discontent” offers up a ballad for the record. The track, while good, attempts at depth via melancholy, which is mostly achieved, but falls short as it’s not cohesive with the rest of the album, and seems almost unbelievable as a ¡Forward, Russia! track. Next is “A Shadow Is A Shadow Is A Shadow,” a tortured song denouncing the hate-filled world. It beautifully transitions from slow and sad to hard and driving. The disc ends with the minimalist and lo-fi “Spanish Triangles.” Woodhead’s warbling is almost haunting as he croons over an eerie melody and soft female vocals. If “Spanish Triangles” is most what ¡Forward, Russia!’s new sound will be like, I’m already anticipating their follow-up to Life Processes.

Look for Life Processes in UK stores on April 14, 2008. If you’re in the States, you can score a digital download through ¡Forward, Russia!’s website. In support of the album, ¡Forward, Russia! will head out on a European tour shortly (dates below).

Tour Dates:
12 Apr – Alzette/Luxembourg
15 Apr – King Tuts/Glasgow
16 Apr – Kef/Aberdeen
17 Apr – Fat Sams/Dundee
18 Apr – Academy 2/Newcastle
20 Apr – Barfly/Liverpool
21 Apr – Thelka/Bristol
22 Apr – Kings College/London
23 Apr – Wedgewood Rooms/Portsmouth
25 Apr – Barfly/Birmingham
27 Apr – Academy 3/Manchester
28 Apr – Cockpit/Leeds
29 Apr – Rescue Rooms/Nottingham

¡Forward, Russia!: website | myspace
Cooking Vinyl: website (uk) | myspace (usa)


One Response

  1. […] Black Kids – Partie Traumatic review Beck – Modern Guilt ¡Forward, Russia! – Life Processes review *Best Show: Not applicable […]

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