Soviet

It seems like Soviet has been around longer, but the band first appeared on the scene only in January. Boy, did they ever make a splash upon arrival: With the release of their Forever Today EP, the lo-fi, garage-punk outfit, then a three-piece, filled the void left by the hiatus of Teenage Cool Kids. While other acts may have crumbled under such expectations, lead comrade John Spies seems to have thrived, expanding to a four-piece, embracing his band's fast-rising profile, wearing it as a badge of honor and even getting a little confrontational with live audiences in the process (see: Soviet's memorable 35 Conferette performance at J&J's Pizza).

Unfortunately, their full-length debut, DOOM, feels a little rushed. The 18-track release, which features only three tracks that surpass the three-minute mark, is somewhat scatterbrained, the result of Spies and Co. putting out seemingly each and every bedroom-style recording they'd made on a whim in the past few months. Considering this band's youth, though, maybe that's not such a bad thing. In some ways DOOM scores as a behind-the-scenes look into a band still discovering its own identity.

And there are still flashes of brilliance: "Wimbledon," with its angular guitar riffs, is good enough to stand toe-to-toe with pretty much anything that Denton's supreme punk alliance has yet released in '11; "All Sorts" is a retro, sock-hop romp that shows this band's popular-music awareness; and album-closing piano ballad, "No Other Will Do," shows a band confident even when stepping well outside its comfort zone.

You can't blame a band for wanting to capitalize on its early success. But let's just call a spade a spade: DOOM's really just a massive collection of demos, and not the full-length debut Soviet's billing it as, if perhaps with a wink; like Forever Today, DOOM is a pay-what-you-want release available for download on the band's BandCamp page.

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman