DETIETI - Serious IV

Detieti - Serious IV

4 songs
36:47 minutes
***** ***


Moscow based rock band Detieti are after a three year pause back with their new album Serious IV. The IV probably just means that this is their fourth record, while Serious is an indicator that the strange frogressive (funk + progressive) rock antics of the past have been shelved. But donít worry: while the new songs no longer have that frantic energy reminiscent of early Mr Bungle, the band still retains their aura of unexpectedness, although in a more focused way than on their previous albums.

The IV in the album title can also be a reference to the number of songs. Indeed, the album begins and ends with a thirteen-minute epic, while the two middle songs are shorter and range between five and six minutes. The opener Disorienteria is my personal highlight on the new album. It begins with a slightly out of tune guitar melody, underlaid by a crunchy bass line and laid-back drums, with strange vocals adding a fun element. Soon the melody is taken over by an acoustic guitar, soon replaced by retro-futuristic synth wails reminding of science fiction B movies from the fifties and sixties. Later all kinds of electronic effects and distorted electronic beats add even more strangeness, so that the initially gentle piece of music ends in a crescendo of blissful noise. The following Milky Squid lies somewhere between noise rock, new wave and post punk, with an early eighties vibe, showing that Detieti not only excel in lush progressive structures, but are also adept at more concise rock songs. Reflective Architect actually has a more reflective mood. The beats are mostly electronic, the synths and guitars deliver short jazzy chords, making this the most introspective piece on the album. Letís consider this a short chill-out moment before the concluding epic Z.O.V. which is an abbreviation for Zaebis Ohuenno Voubsche, and if I can believe Google Translate, this means something really dirty. Unlike the opener which more or less builds variations on an initial melody, Z.O.V. comes with many different movements, making this a less accessible track, although repeated listening will yield new details again and again.

Serious IV is an instrumental album, but frankly the individual tracks are so filled with ideas that vocals would have been overkill. This fourth album is also shorter than its two predecessors (the debut was a half hour long short longplayer or long EP), but by having only four songs, itís easier to keep them apart. Like the progressive rock albums from the seventies who also rarely had more than five songs or suites, Serious IV is a sophisticated exercise in avantgarde flavoured progressive rock that should appeal more to those relishing experimentalism than those yearning for symphonic lushness. The more I listen to Serious IV, the more it grows on me. I also love the tremendous cover painting by Yulia Petrova which feels like a twisted version of Simon StŚlenhagís Tales From The Loop. Detieti are truly on the right track, and if they continue like that, they will be a force to be reckoned with.

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