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Рецензия от European Progressive Rock Reviews на альбом 'Trans Aviation Pilots' (in English)

Рецензия от European Progressive Rock Reviews на альбом

The Moscow based band return with another example of their unique brand of inventive rock that is equal to their previous works. I have no idea what the music scene is like in Moscow but if this band is representative of it then there must be something special going on. The major thing about these guys is the way they blend Anglo and Latin influences into their material. This time their classic tracks "Captain Zero" and "Tree Behind The Wall" are not here but this album does contain another classic, namely "Money" which should easily become as important as the aforesaid songs with its tubular bells, chiming guitars and hammond organ. The track "Flanders Fields", the poem written by John McCrae and put to music, demonstrates the Ango/latin influences to perfection and actually comes out like something Mark Knopfler could have written, this is another classic moment for Romislokus. This new album is more thoughtful than their previous one and it creates a great atmosphere, no doubt due to the fact that the cello is back in a big way alongside acoustic guitars and great use of the keyboards. The end result is that the overall mood and direction is more in the style of their "Vinyl Spring Digital Autumn" album of a couple of years back. Track 5, "Come Tomorrow", is a typical example of where Romislokus bring all these elements together; synths, great percussion, drums, guitars and computers. Even on the rockier tracks the mood is irresistible, especially when they remind me of "Kraftwerk" and "Men Without Hats" on the track "Rocking Time".
The cello is at its best on the sinister sounding "Being In A Plastic Box" and the deep but light sounding "Computer Moon" which could nearly be described as a Russian equivalent to an acoustic blues song. The cello again is particularly effective on the haunting "Take My Heart". This track demonstrates the strength and importance of the cello when it blends in with an acoustic guitar and yes, even when the keys and electric guitar enter, the drone of the cello still adds to the tension. There are also a couple of light and extremely commercial songs; the happy and carefree "Lucky Man" and the more thoughtful "Just Dream", both of which add to the delight of this album and work brilliantly alongside the more heavyweight tracks. Lastly, they have included a video of the band performing "Dreg". We at E.P.R.R. feel that this band deserve all the praise they can get, they really are special, so we have included them in our new "Rock" Hall Of Fame. This album deserves 90%

Март, 2004.



Рецензия от 1340mag.com на альбом 'Trans Aviation Pilots' (in English)

Рецензия от 1340mag.com на альбом

Romislokus is a Russian band out of Moscow. They describe their music as 'post rock, new alternative, progressive rock.' 'Trans Aviation Pilots' is their fourth CD.

I would personally describe it as 'euroblues rock' if I can coin a category; it's very bluesy eurorock. It's really, really listenable. It has some interesting tonalities that we usually don't hear in music from the US. I have to admit this CD had to grow on me. I didn't get it the first couple times I listened to it. After the first three or four times I really started to hear and enjoy it, but it's worth the effort. It's clear English isn't the singer Yuri Smolnikov's first language but that doesn't detract from the sound at all. There are several songs which are sung in Russian (Cyrillic?), too, which add another interesting flavor to the CD. The disc is nicely produced, equal to other recordings of this type. It also includes a music video which is interesting although it's almost a grunge styled look.

If you're into more mellow blues rock or eurorock this CD is worth checking out. Three of the songs can be downloaded from their web site.

Key track: Trance Aviation Pilots, Being in a Plastic Box, Dreg (Video clip)

Апрель, 2004.

John Venvertloh


Рецензия от Alternative Rock Review на альбом 'Trans Aviation Pilots' (in English)

The album 'Trans Aviation Pilots' is the second time I've reviewed Romislokus, after 'All Day Home' back in 2003. Since then, the band has been hard at work writing more adult-orientated rock sang mostly in Polish and Russian vocals. There are so many different styles, it would be inaccurate to class 'Trans Aviation Pilots' as a pure rock album, lots of Pink Floyd atmosphere dominates the songs, with smatterings of acoustic guitar, synthesiser and strings throughout. Second track 'Take My Heart' boasts a mean guitar lick and almost soundtrack quality in the tone and 'Just Dream' contains English lyrics making a change from the surrounding tracks (to my untrained ear). Nothing here feels rushed or hurried, each song unwinds at its leisurely pace, unafraid to mix in folk, progressive and drum machine touches. Talking of Pink Floyd, there's even a song called 'Money' that turns out not to be a cover of the 'Dark Side Of The Moon' classic, instead a calming original with space effects and what sounds like a church bell approximately half way through! Thinking of the clean guitar tone employed, it does remind me of 1980s era Dire Straits, the way it doesn't dominate the mix, letting in other less obvious instruments. If you enjoy your music void of adolescent posturing and bluster in favour of sleek, atmospheric AOR, Romislokus is a match made in heaven.

Март, 2004.

Nick Collings


Рецензия от Aural Innovations на альбом 'Trans Aviation Pilots' (in English)

Рецензия от Aural Innovations на альбом

Uploaded to Aural Innovations: March 2004
On their previous album, Russia’s Romislokus moved in a more pop oriented direction, but with a sensual, slightly surreal tone to it, like the music of Brian Ferry or Ultravox. Trans Aviation Pilots finds them heading back into a bit more of a prog rock direction, though these songs are still definitely pop-oriented. This, however, is pop with muscle, with complex arrangements, diverse influences, and the characteristic Romislokus spaciness to it as well. The chops are tight, especially from the guitarist, and the production is first rate. And I was very happy to hear the haunting tones of Irina Yunakovskaya’s cello taking a more prominent role in the sound once again. Yuri Smolnikov continues singing mostly in English, but a few songs are sung in Russian as well. Song-wise, the title track is a definite knock-out, and one of the best things the band has ever done, with its funky, heavy guitar and thick atmospherics. Take My Heart displays Irina Yunakovskaya’s cello playing to maximum effect, giving the track a classic and romantic feel. The dark Being in a Plastic Box (one of the songs sung in Russian) was also a favorite. Computer Moon is a cool track as well, being a kind of bluesy space tune (also with lyrics in Russian). And Rocking Time, despite its title, ends up being one of the spaciest tracks on the album, with lots of quirky electronics. All in all, another strong release from Romislokus, though I would still like to hear them delve back into a bit more of the deeper prog rock leanings of their first album. But I would say this is their second best album so far, next to their original classic.

Март, 2004.

Jeff Fitzgerald


Рецензия от Progressiveears на альбом 'Trans Aviation Pilots' (in English)

Рецензия от Progressiveears на альбом

Style : Prog/pop, slightly spacey AOR

Rating : 2.5 / 5

Summary : An adventurous effort from a Russian band that deserves a break

Russian band Romislokus was formed in Moscow by band-leader Yuri Smolnikov – who tells of an interesting background. Smolnikov has played guitar since 1973, but by the time he was ready to break out the disco era had arrived and trounced his chances of succeeding in the world of progressive music. So – in a story that recalls the frustrated painters and writers of past centuries – he traveled to all corners of the Russian sub-continent, writing songs, meeting fellow musicians, and organizing rock-laboratories with hundreds of musicians. The Romislokus project was formed in 1997, and includes artists he met along his travels and in the rock-labs, and Trans Aviation Pilots is their fourth release. Yuri describes Romislukus’s music as 'post rock, new alternative, progressive rock'. Read on for a somewhat more pragmatic description.

On their previous albums Romislokus’s music was very much more pop-oriented. With Trans Aviation Pilots they have moved in a more progressive direction, and prog/pop, atmospheric AOR, or bluesy Eurock might be more apt descriptions. Some tracks have strong progressive overtones while many songs are very commercially oriented. The band makes liberal use of a good variety of instruments – from tubular bells through cello, from synthesizer to Hammond, and from drums to drum-machine. But the signature sound here is the vocals, which are heavily accented and bring to mind a somewhat unrefined cross between Mark Knopfler and Chris Rea.

The best songs on the album are 'In Flanders Fields', a John McCrae poem put to music and sounding rather like Dire Straits, and the not-quite title track 'Trance Aviation Pilots' which includes voice-overs and seems to have a story-line attached.- although reading the English-language lyrics won’t clarify the meaning for you: There’s no doubt Romislukus can speak and write English infinitely better than any of us can speak Russian. But to enhance their market penetration into the West, the band would be advised to recruit an English-language professional to help polish the lyrics, and – by the way – to refine the grammar on their web site.

Those songs that have a pop-orientation are marked by an intrusive machine-driven rhythm section that just may cause you to program your CD-player to skip a few tracks. The 11 songs on this 40-minute CD range between 2- and 4-minutes, two are sung in Russian, and the CD includes a rather nice video if a track called 'Dreg'.

So after his extensive travels and travails, Yuri finally 'found himself' artistically. And what he found was a very approachable style of music that is somewhat out of step with the prog/pop practitioners of the West. And that may be a good thing or a bad thing. Their web site has some very good samples – so try before you buy. You just might be surprised.

Май, 2004.

Duncan Glenday




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