“Give Me a Wall gives many clues but few definitive answers about where Forward Russia! are heading-- but the important thing for now is that they keep on moving.”
Oops. The actual name of this band is ¡Forward, Russia!. Pitchfork forgot the first upside down exclamation point.
Secondly this record doesn’t come out in U.S. until Sept 19th on Mute. Please take note that this is a review of the import.
Thirdly we have been through this so many times over the past year and a half. No review needs over 5 references to other bands no less 10.
New Kids On the Block (in fairness this is used as a wordplay tool not a RIYL)
At The Drive-In
“Heart of Glass”, - code for Blondie
“Kele Okerke” – Bloc Party singer had it been spelled right.
Wilderness’ James Johnson
Next - You need to correctly spell the name of the band member you are referencing. The correct spelling is Okereke. Hopefully by the time I post this, this will have been fixed on PFM. I know I fuck up all the time on TFM but I also don’t have an editor and we are just a little hobby blog.
Lastly, I was just thinking about timelines the other day. When I discovered Pavement in 1990 I don’t think I knew much about The Velvet Underground, The Fall, or Sonic Youth’s early material. To my green ears I had never heard anything like this band before and I didn’t care if they weren’t the ones who invented that sound. They were my starting point and while eventually I discovered how and where their sound fell in the bigger picture, I still don’t regret my initial worship of Pavement. We all have to start somewhere and I think as a record nerd and writer (and I use writer in the loosest sense of the word) it is easy to forget the innocence of being young and new to music. To somebody out there ¡Forward, Russia! will be their starting point and who they sound like is totally irrelevant. Especially with bands in this general genre that appeals to mostly the under 30 set, the fact that a band might sound like 20 others doesn’t mean much. Especially for hardcore / emo kids it is more about scenes and finding unknown bands before everyone else and claiming them for yourself. Sorry to stereotype but there is something about the 14-25 age group that likes to feel part of a movement. The bitter jaded thing can set in early but it usually takes a good 5 to 10 years in that kind of scene before all the “new” bands actually sound like something you have heard a 100 times before.
If I wasn’t approaching my mid 30’s and wasn’t having Shudder to Think / ATDI flashbacks I am pretty certain I would be sleeping with this record under my pillow and rating it an even 8.0. But alas I am old, admittedly jaded, and giving the record a 7.5 because while I am not impressed, I am willing to bet my 16 year old intern and all her friends will be. There is a community of kids who aren’t interested in knowing who a band may or may not be influence by and truthfully all they should care about is that they like it. I miss those innocent years so the least I can say is enjoy them while you can.