Romislokus - Vinyl Spring, Digital Autumn
1. The Snow of the Rails (4:51) 2. The Face of a City (5:58) 3. 78 (6:49) 4. Absolute Control (5:06) 5. It Is Winter (3:57) 6. Miss the Target (6:30) 7. A Tree by the Wall (6:49) 8. Tuner (3:10) 9. Substance (4:24) 10. Smoke (4:11)
Total Running Time: 51:45
Russia is a fascinating country, a land of contrasts that historically has had its people divided into the masses and the oligarchy, its culture related to Europe and yet worlds apart from it in its Asiatic taints, its temperament divided between fearsomely brutal rage and sweetly naive innocence. It is a land that with its picturesque architecture draws respect from its guests, and that with its legendary artists has shaken the world more than once, but above all, it is a land with an incredible people. There is a fairy-like kindness ingrained in a large segment of the population that sees itself reflected not only in the works of Tolstoi and Dostoyevsky or the surreal imagery of Andrei Tarkovski's The Mirror, and not even in the innocent beauty of the language itself, but in the very temperament of the Russians that I have been fortunate to know personally.
The influence, however, goes beyond that to seemingly have some bearing on a considerable part of everything the Russians do, rock music included. And so it is that Romislokus' Vinyl Spring, Digital Autumn, regardless of the fact that its music can be related to bands that have little to do if anything with Russia, is a further extension of that country's character. Not only the pastoral dreaminess or the kind innocence, however, but also the terrible cruelty and near-barbarism that the country has been witness to during its dynasties, so-called communism, and recent debacle. In fact, and although its appearances in a stark industrial tone that recall early Killing Joke are rather sparse throughout the album, such is the very imagery behind the chillingly masterful 'Absolute Control.' With the exception of the rather more electronic 'Tuner' and the mostly placid '78' the emotional centerpiece of the album, it recalls dramatic authoritarian marches with a frightening accuracy, and it is a personal shame that such a direction was not further explored across the record.
However, the fact that the members of Romislokus choose to focus most of their creative energy on childlike dreaminess and sweet contemplation of the surrounding nature is no detraction either. The approach ends up reminding the listener of a very vague and abstract The Cure imbued with a subtle progressive bend, and the result is quite touching in its beautiful simplicity. And the result is such partly because of the Russian lyrics, which bring a peacefully contemplative air to each track and contribute to creating a series of tender lullabies for the listener. In fact, had it not been for a production that unfortunately sounds too empty to provide footing for the lush whims of Romislokus, Vinyl Spring, Digital Autumn would be nothing other than the perfect portal through which to access the very childlike naivete of Russia itself.