Romislokus are a Russian band having just released this, their second album, containing songs in a more or less progressive vein, although not that far from laid back pop either. Their approach shows a strange combination of professionalism and amateurism. For instance, the booklet of the CD was printed on nice glossy paper (they even list a cover designer as band member), the CD however looks to be made in a home burner, and despite all the English titles of the tracks, all vocals are in Russian.
The Snow Of The Rails opens the album peacefully, with guitars sounding a bit wobbly (Geoff Mann) and a somewhat hypnotic vocals. The use of keys and various sound effects give the track a certain flavour.
The Face Of A City starts with dominant vocals, making it sound flat, to find this flatness diminished by the instrumental part, which seemingly features Hank Marvin on guitar and a lady on ha-ho feeling very dramatic.
78 has a long intro, featuring cello. Nice atmosphere, spoiled by the oncoming vocals.
Despite the somewhat flat drumming, sounding almost boxed, and not too exiting main guitar line, Absolute Control also features interesting endeavours as well as a nice build up.
It Is Winter is a slow song featuring slow guitar and a cello. The guitar sound remains somewhat onesided, negating the atmospheric effect created by the cello. The bells and violin introduce a James Last Christmas.
Miss The Target starts with lonely keys, sounding as though in a wintery forest, reminiscent of Drowning, Not Waving. As in the previous track the cello puts down a good atmosphere, to find its influence nullified by the vocals. I found the end of this track rather abrupt.
A Tree By The Wall starts mainly cello with vocals, the same contrast as before. The lengthy instrumental section following this once again shows a nice depth of use of instruments and melodic almost experiments.
Tuner is a bit of a surprise, since it sounds very much like modern psychedelic, with a dancy beat and fuzzy guitars. Not exactly an asset for this kind of album.
Substance starts largely vocal with guitar, not all thrilling, but the oncoming of the violin and female vocals add a melancholic mystery making the track quite worthwhile.
Smoke finishes the album representatively, with the strummy guitaring and vocals, with the bells taking a clear role for themselves, this time though, not used too remind one of Christmas. And followed by an instrumental part which gives the track its depth.
I'm not sure whether its the language or just the tone of Smolnikov's voice, but the vocals on this album tend to flatten the compositions out. Which is a shame, really, considering the amount of instrumental depth Romislokus manage to bring on this album. In fact, the first time I listened to this album I considered it rather bland, and only on listening again did I find the depths behind the vocals. Sure, the wobbly guitars are pulled out a little too often, but the richness in instruments (no wonder, for a band with so many members) makes for a nice change. However, since the band fail to capitalize on strong sides, I would call this album more a chance missed, than a point scored.