The Soviet Influence is a collaborative project based out of Limehouse, Ontario. Boundaries was crafted by Peter Snow and David Fallis although they give credit to several others in the process. The album is an exercise in recording but doesn’t necessarily mean they will be looking to perform the tracks live anytime soon. The Soviet Influence sounds like Radiohead with the cinema of Arcade Fire.
They have a strong core in guitar, but the songs are layered and guided by other instruments. Nothing is very traditional, a lot of experimental traits throughout.
The album is a ten-song concept that starts out with a couple of songs sharing similar themes, but soon the narrative spreads its wings and becomes something bigger than expected. The songs spin the tale about a politically active man who experiences romantic and mental entanglements throughout his life. All is portrayed in the sense of 1st person accounts. On “Visions” there’s a haunting melody in the chorus that is hard to shake. The vocals on the bridge start to creep in and linger in a way that makes the listener picture it fading into a long dark hallway and around the corner into shadow. The beat is danceable, which makes it sound a lot like “Losing My Religion.” There’s a clever and tasteful tom fill towards the end that had me smiling.
“Ghosts” starts out on a sparkling dance tip and just a few rounded tones from the bass. The vocals enter in their usual call out reverb. This motif continues for a little longer than I’d like. I try not to want to fast-forward songs, but this one had me fall victim. To my surprise, that was the meat and potatoes of the whole song. Summed up in the first 10 seconds. To be critical, this is almost never a good idea. To be fair, it is just one song.
“The Hero Archetype” also uses a nice beat and complimenting bass pattern to lay the foundation. Everything atop is sprinkled sparingly and carefully. Leering guitar bends and spread-out vocals do their job at creating a very unique soundscape. The melodies that weave in like a predictable breeze act like a staple for The Soviet Influence’s sound. Just don’t expect too many catchy ones. This is more art than commercial.
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