(The author of the article is Kiril Kungurtsev)
New album "Underwood" as overcoming hipsterism
"Talking about music is like dancing about architecture," Frank remarked caustically.
Zappa. Nevertheless, reviews and reviews, fiction novels and philosophical treatises are devoted to music. Why? Man is a speaking being, through his speech he
passes the perceived world, shaping it into conscious forms, "traps reality with traps of words", in the words of Sartre. Therefore, despite Zappa's warnings, people continue to talk and write about music, argue and rant. Some want to share their feelings, others want to find comrades in sympathy, others want to understand what exactly the work influenced him.
Unlike text, music addresses the psycho-emotional sphere. But from the first
centuries of human history, music is almost always filled with words. The word is addressed to the mind, and the music gives intonation, emotion, sensation. The word is framed by the environment of perception - this is how the song is born. If musical accompaniment is removed from it or reduced to a minimum, as in hip-hop, choral performance or chanson, the perception of the word given by the musician will be limited to its author's presentation. But the richer the arrangement, the more virtuosic the instrumental parts, the larger the audience to which the musician appeals - it turns into a forum where those who are ready to creatively rethink the words and moods of the song, add something of their own to it, transfer to a different wave perception.
"Underwood" has always been a kind of figure in the Russian rock scene. Them
refined literariness never lagged behind performing and instrumental inventiveness. Lightly touching the trajectory of "retro", they always bypassed the "eternal", "damned" questions on which Russian rock grew in all its most striking examples. Outside of any ideology and politicization, closer to the intimacy and sincerity of manifestations of humanity (even the most unseemly) - "Underwoods" have always remained "forever young", but about that they never became "forever drunk", easily passing the space of the variegated ideology of Russian Rock. Maxim Kucherenko and Vladimir Tkachenko (associates) became the true parents of the Russian "indie", expressing the interests of millennials. A generation that has been repeatedly characterized by various researchers and saddened ideologues as unprincipled, apolitical, and consumerist. This wave is represented today by such fashionable and bright performers as Samsara, Both Two, Aloe Vera, Curara, My Michelle, etc.
"Underwood" does not overload the listener with Dostoevism, does not put in extreme
situation – but at the same time they are poets of reality. They don't run away
highly artistic escapism, like "Mumiy Troll", "Spleen" or Zemfira. Peace
beautiful in all its manifestations - without tension, sincerely and fervently sing about him
"Underwood" is the voice of a generation that has nothing but fantastic
dreams, office torments and club holidays. Rock mastodons even before the 1990s
tried to form reality - some of them still do not understand that it has already been formed, calculated, weighed ... And if the aforementioned figures of "rockapops" tried to rebel against it, then "Underwood" poeticizes what is left in our geographical and mental halls .
But that was until their last album, Children of Port Wine. This album is
watershed. Symbolically coinciding with the movement of "rebellious greenery", "dissenting
kids" and "awakened hipsters", the musicians turn to the problem of probable reality with every word, every chord. The album's manifesto: "Everything that we don't give a fuck about today... descendants will call an epoch" is a genuine voice from under the blocks of social roles that have been squeezing today's youth almost from the moment of its birth. Irony, hopelessness, arrogance are presented in such a way that one begins to believe in some kind of variability of the future, to succumb to some vague hopes.
“The devils are dancing to Nirvana on the button accordion” - isn’t this a call for rethinking
officially declared autarky, self-sufficiency and total "import substitution"? Here - their most popular, incendiary single "Scarlett Johansson goes to Kherson". The spirit of our time looks ridiculous and absurd in its sound-verbal materializations by former Crimeans.
And the most politically incorrect "Batman-tandyu" is unique in its inclusiveness,
all-aspect test of the strength of the issue of sexual
minorities in general and in Russia in particular. Here and Tchaikovsky, and Diaghilev, and
government agencies, and the drug mafia, and the policy of "staples" - all in one incredible bottle!
The hipster innovation of the Crimeans and the way they completed the album is not
the dreary, hopeless song “Dogs in the Backyard”, the not slightly pompous “Memory of those who fell on the Patriarchs”, raising the question of the horror of allegorical, symbolic death, which turns the layman into a living corpse. No, the end is the retrofuturistic, absurdly ambitious "Rockets to Mars" and the drunken dreamy "Children of Port Wine: Morrison's Nephews, Cobain Brothers."
But musicians of this magnitude cannot be belittled by vulgar textology, as it is easy
available for this Psoy Korolenko or Arkady Severny. Album - small
a musical masterpiece that masterfully combines elements of hard rock, beat, Britpop,
rockabilly, reggae and even cabaret. Of course, this is again amazing in its
energetic vocal competition of Tkachenko and Kucherenko - this album is more
mixed on this point rather than instrumental or melodic, unlike previous albums. But what has been said cannot be exaggerated: each track is a true Song that harmoniously combines the semantic message with the musicality of the presentation. These are unforgettable melodies and catchphrases, which already now, so far at the level of memes, have gone “to the people”. These are songs that are easy and pleasant to sing and hum – with different thoughts, with different moods. In the language of Soviet ideologists, this is "genuine folk art." This is the voice of a generation that is tired of being content with the opportunity to stroll along the Nevsky Prospect with a paper cup of coffee in their hands, rolling their eyes at the selfie on the iPhone presented by their parents and wrapping themselves in devilishly symbolic oversize and vintage. This is the voice of a generation that, before our very eyes, is beginning - still vaguely, indistinctly, timidly - to think about the Future. There is a possibility that Kucherenko and Tkachenko will be for this generation what BG, Makarevich and Shevchuk have become for my generation. The grandchildren of vermouth, the children of port, to the generation of gin and tonic.