steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Russian Spy Camera

"You are a Vulture" CD

Happy Happy Birthday To Me

Genres: indie rock

November 2006

Indie rock with electronic elements: it's nothing new these days but nobody complains when it's done well. Russian Spy Camera are one of the latest to try their hand, and You Are a Vulture is the inconsistent result. Starting with mildly irritating dancey rocker "To Slip Through The Cracks," the listener isn't exactly stricken with awe from the upstart, and jumpy keyboard-led "Teasers With Tasers" does nothing to remedy this. Fortunately the album is salvaged with "Svengali What's The Caper", which adds life to the record with a smooth groove and a solid melody. Spanish tinged "Curandismo" is a bit unpolished but certainly serviceable, and "Greetings From Far Away" (we're at the record's fifth track now, pay attention) has a guitar line that pits it as one of the disc's strongest songs. "A Matter of Time & Distance" also nabs a spot among the record's best, due to a spacey drop-off bridge at the 2:40 mark. The rest of the record continues in much the same vein with your fair share of fast and slow songs and even a neat little interlude ("Ascension") that is strangely one of Vulture's most satisfying moments.

Overall, You are a Vulture is an intriguing release in its promise, though more consistency is surely what Russian Spy Camera are going to need to focus on next time around. The band has a scattered but relatively distinctive sound, which is a positive - however I find lead singer Ryan White's voice a little weak at times. For a debut, however, there is enough here to warrant some measure of attention; one must note that this band was put together at the end of 2004, so things should become more cohesive in time for their next full-length, due out summer 2007.

mp3 (from svengali what's the caper


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 tracks, 1000 pressed, distributed by the label, released 2006]