Album #168: Moscow Death Brigade – Bad Accent Anthems

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Moscow, Russia
  • Label: Rebel Sound
  • Best Track: Dirty White Sneakers

I’ve said before on this blog that I sometimes think European bands should sing in their own language rather than write and sing in non-native English. Seemingly taking that criticism and owning it are Russian punk/hip-hop crossover band Moscow Death Brigade on this second album Bad Accent Anthems.

These guys are a mysterious bunch who perform while donning black hoods and challenge racism, sexism and homophobia in a country where doing so doesn’t always go down that well. They do this through a boisterous mixture of in-your-face rapping, thick punk riffs and electronic enhancement, reminding me more of Cypress Hill than anyone else I can think of.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it works better on some tracks than others. The ones with the more quickfire lyrics come up trumps like opener ‘Out the Basement’ and the even stronger ‘Dirty White Sneakers’. The vocal delivery and timing here is right on the money.

It’s when the electronic element gets overcooked that things go a little awry. I can’t really be doing with ‘Feed the Crocodiles’ for that reason; it sounds like an overworked System of a Down song. Meanwhile, final track ‘Never Walk Alone’ almost seems like a euro-dance, punked-up football chant. Punk and football seem to blur together in pockets of Europe, most notably German club St. Pauli, but the idea has yet to be embraced in the same way in England and even with Liverpool fans at their most loud and excitable after Thursday night, I can’t see many of them embracing this. As disappointing a closer as I’ve ever heard to an otherwise decent listen.

Though it doesn’t always hit the spot, you have to admire what Moscow Death Brigade do, and it takes a lot more balls to do it in Russia than in the UK or US. They must be a real experience live as well, and I’m hoping to catch them at Blackpool’s Rebellion festival next year. Right now, just talking about gigs seems like a step towards being at one!

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