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Album Review

The Soviettes aren't doing anything that different on their Fat Wreck debut than the irascible Minneapolis fuzz punks did on their two previous records for Adeline. But what the hell is wrong with that? III is another high-tension wire good time, a ballsy spitfire that rolls tall between Sex Pistols vocals, Pacific Northwest swagger, and the vestiges of early new wave, when the after-hours photographs were still in black and white. There are more melodies on III, from "¡Paranoia Cha Cha Cha!" and the modified/accelerated Pat Benatar strut of "Middle of the Night" to "Roller Girls," the rowdy tribute to the Minnesota Roller Girls' roller derby league. And it's the Soviettes' best-performed record yet, with their four-way harmonies piling on top of one another in new and exciting ways. "[Do] the Stagger" is some kind of hyper party jam — the herky-jerky guitar equivalent of a shotgunned can of Grain Belt beer — and the couplets of "Hanging Up the Phone"'s chorus end with great "woah-oh-o"'s. The Soviettes are great at "woah-oh-o"'s. And they prove it, with a minute-and-eleven-seconds of song called. . ."Woah." III's very immediacy hurts it a little — the whizzy keyboard solo on "What Did I Do?!" and "Gotta Decide"'s urgent mid-tempo count as variety points. But you can ignore the record's mild sameness because it's confident, well-played, and full of salacious wit. It's pop-punk built for Twister parties and adult fun, so take your skateboard and go home, junior.

Customer Reviews

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The Soviettes come out swinging and deliver a dazzling and dizzying combination to kick off on their third full-length CD. The ebullient and brash "Multiply and Divide" simply explodes with sheer punk goodness and just the right amount of cocksure, X-Ray Spex-style new wave. The lone male in the group, drummer Danny, belts out backups on this track (and others), funneling his snide and snotty vocals through, what sounds like an old bull-horn, a perfect complement to the potent main vocals. It is quickly followed by another brilliant burner, "Paranoia Cha Cha Cha!" Within a minute, you'll be chanting the chorus, "They say you're gonna be shut down," along with the gals while jumping out of your chair, pumping your fists and looking for a riot to join. The Minneapolis quartet throws in some tasty and tantalizing curves like the pensive "Gotta Decide" and the raucous girl-vs-boy exchange "How Do You Like That?" And look out Macarena and Lambada, "(Do) The Stagger" should be the next big dance craze.

Awesome stuff!

I stumbled onto this group just by dumb luck. The name of the band sounded interesting. The cover was very simple (much like the punk stuff of the late 70s and early 80s). So, I checked out a few tracks and was impressed with a half dozen 30 second samples. So, I downloaded the tracks and the songs are very rocking and relatively addictive. You have a mix of the Pat Benatar sounds "Middle of the Night" (one of the most commerical tracks on here) but no worries, they offset it with fast punk rock tracks like "Together". Most of the songs are relatively fast with short solos and songs stop where you might expect another repeat of the refrain. It's like a cross between the Ramones and Sleater-Kinney. And all four members of the band take turns singing songs: 3 women, and 1 male (the drummer). "Gotta Decide" is the most Sleater-Kinney sounding track on the album. Other great tracks are: "Paranoia Cha Cha Cha", "Thinking of You", and "Hanging Up the Phone".

Fans of this band should check out Sleater-Kinney ("The Woods", "One Beat", and "All Hands on the Bad One"), and Fastbacks (pretty much any album they make rocks ... although I'll note "Zucker" has the best instrumental, ever and "Space Station #5" off of "New Mansions in Sound" will blow you away).

BTW: This band is still touring now and then. They announced some dates this year (2011). So, hopefully maybe another album is in the works. One can only hope.


Formed: 2000 in Minneapolis, MN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

The Soviettes formed in the midst of Minneapolis winter in 2000. Without want for last names, Annie (guitar/vocals), Sturgeon (guitar/vocals), Suzy (bass), and Danny (drums) tore into recording, and by 2003 had issued their self-titled debut via Adeline. It was fuzzy, punky, striped, and ballsy, and made an impression in the Twin Cities and beyond. The ingeniously titled II followed in 2004, and featured more bratty one- and two-minute songs with names like "#1 Is Number Two" and "Pass the Flashlight."...
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LP III, The Soviettes
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