Vialka / Kruzenshtern and Parohod

Vialka / Kruzenshtern and Parohod
Split EP

You only need to spot the fact that Kruzenshtern and Prohod are on this record to know you’re in for a crazy treat, but Vialka are a new band to me and I’m intrigued to find out who would want to share album space with Israel’s kings of traditional meets hardcore!

Well, it’s clear from the first few minutes that Vialka are equally unhinged, delivering a turbo-punk-folk that sounds like a band travelling full tilt downhill in a Zorb. There are crazy lyrical stabs that match the shouting madness of their LP-mates, and the strange gipsy theme is also a resounding snap.

However, whereas Kruzenshtern and Parahod thrust the bass guitar into the forefront, Vialka are more six-string led. Vialka also have more focus on words, with French lyrics featuring heavily in songs such as ‘Gothenburg’ and ‘Singes Merdiques’, which is as close as either band gets to the generally accepted structure of a strong.

What Kruzenshtern and Parohod do best is sudden noise amongst silence, and heavily beat-oriented sections of music led by all kinds of instruments from accordions to clarinets to goodness knows what and, although it’s hard to judge, they’ve lived up to expectations with a record that’s both challenging and experimental.

This is an album of similarities and differences. From both bands, you get tons of surprises and a mix of traditional and modern music that pushes boundaries as much as the crazy songwriting style. There’s no mistaking these bands though, each has a distinct sound – be it Vialka’s gypsy-folk or Kruzenshtern and Parohod’s circus-surprise.

If these bands were experimental artists, rather than experimental musicians, they’d be the ones painting their balls with honey before playing ‘extreme pinata’ with a beehive.

Written by Fenton on

Steve Fenton writes in our music, words, and culture categories. He was Editor in Chief for The Mag and covered live music for DV8 Magazine and Spill Magazine. He was often found in venues throughout the UK alongside ace-photographer, Mark Holloway. Steve is also a technical writer and programmer and writes gothic fiction. Steve studied Psychology at OSC, and Anarchy in the UK: A History of Punk from 1976-1978 at the University of Reading.

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