Plastilinovy JINN - We Are

9 songs
26:50 minutes
***** ****


I prided myself to know more or less the location of every country in the world, until about the early Nineties were lots of countries regained their independence after the end of the Cold War. Kazakhstan is one of the places I have heard of in the news, but who would have known that this country bordering among others on Russia and China is the ninth biggest one in the World? With 15 million people sparsely populated, this would have been one of the last places to expect a heavy metal band to emerge. And while I believe that nowadays nearly every country has a blooming rock scene, Plastilinovy JINN have done the innovative step to offer their new (and already fourth) album We Are entirely for free on the Internet. You may argue that this way a lot of people won't buy the album, but then who outside of Kazakhstan would have worried even to know of this band? I truly hope that by giving away their album for free, that they will open doors for the bands of the newly independent countries.

Which brings us to We Are, an album considered on several online review sites as fun, although I see something completely different in this short album. The opener Nash Poezd is close to the sound of the early Rammstein, although with a sweeter melody, cheesier keyboards with an anachronistic 80s sound and of course a less pompous production. But this is more than just another industrial album. The title song is a totally melodic and danceable pop rock song sung in Kazakh (I would guess), conveying a sense of melancholy I last heard when Kruiz from Russia emerged in Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain. And though I know that Kazakhstan is no longer a part of Russia (or rather the late Soviet Union), there are non-deniable parallels between both bands, in as far as they combine a fluffy pop sensibility with Eastern seriousness. The following Mi kazhetsa gte to vstrechalis... is another fine example of the band's mellower side. Igra gets us rocking again, with fast drums that show the limits of production experience in Kazakhstan, but what the band is lacking in sound, they make up with engaging song writing that young Western bands can't seem to do anymore nowadays. The next three songs are fast and hardrocking, making it clear that apart from the opener, there are no clear industrial influences. The last regular song Oglaynis is again more on the melodic side, with the typical melancholic atmosphere, before the album closes with the bonus track Vechernie Ogni, a not-at-all-rocking pop song with female vocals that ends this short half hour on a romantic note.

Eastern Europe and Russia have had a couple of professional bands in the last decade. And while Plastilinovy JINN's new album suffers from a slightly weak chested production, the song writing is so alive and full of inspiration that you have to listen a couple of times to believe the moving songs you just have heard. Not many bands understand to combine their country's musical roots with contemporary rock sounds as well as Plastilinovy JINN have done on this freely available album, and you absolutely have to be a fool if you don't take the opportunity to download this surprisingly refreshing album. This would have been a maximum rating if the middle of the album had had more of the sad stuff. Still a big 9 out of 10 with the hope that this band will make it big internationally in the near future.

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