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Pussy Riot - So What's Their Music Like?

By Ailbhe Malone

Posted on 06 Aug 12

 
 

Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina have been in the news consistently for the past six months. The backstory is well known. On the 21st of February this year, the punk collective performed a 'punk prayer', asking the Virgin Mary to remove Russian President Vladimir Putin from power, in Moscow's largest church Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Three of the group were arrested in put into custody until January 2013. The women could receive up to seven years in prison on charges of hooliganism.






But what about their music? Formed in October 2011, the collective totals at roughly ten performers, plus 15 additional members who handle video editing and filming. The tracks available have a predictably riot grrrl edge, with the abrasiveness of Oi! and the frantic bass lines of ska. 'Prayer To The Virgin Mary' opens with an ironic choir-girl chorus, before breaking into frantic politico-punk. Meanwhile, 'Kropotkin Vodka' (via Google Translate) calls for a political coup, over a fuzzy and freaky guitar solo - complete with siren sound effects. The overall impact is urgent and compelling. Even with a language barrier, it's easy to see that someone's pissed off, and they're determined to change it.



'Putin Zassal', again from Google Translate - if there are any Russian-speaking readers, perhaps you could comment if these translations are really far off). 'Kill The Sexist' has a more melodic bent, with fast spoken word over a repeated three-chord guitar riff, centered around a call-and-answer chorus. 'Deliver Pavement' is frantic and dissonant, with an aggressive drum fill and sound effects of screeching tyres.

Though, to a certain extent, it doesn't really matter what the group's music sounds like (would what's happening to them be OK if the tunes they made were crap?), it's exciting to see that their output is just as frustrated, vibrant and anti status-quo as they are.



 
 
 
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