Album #318: Kino – Gruppa Krovi

  • Released: 1988
  • Origin: Leningrad (Saint Petersburg), Russia
  • Label: Moroz
  • Best Track: Boshetunmai

My current obsession with Molchat Doma has encouraged me to look into more Russian and Eastern European post-punk.

One band said to have influenced them is Kino, who brought out eight albums before the break-up of the Soviet Union. Little known outside of Eastern Europe, they were influential in their homeland, but their legacy was tragically cut short when frontman Viktor Tsoi died in a car crash in 1990, aged just 28.

Their sixth album Gruppa Krovi, translating as ‘Blood Type’, seems to be widely regarded as their best and most popular. I like it – it’s kind of frustrating that I can’t understand the words as I sense they’re pretty meaningful, but even so, I get the mood and atmosphere of this sombre and raw record, especially on ‘Spokoynaya Noch’.

They weren’t afraid to do the unconventional either. The catchiest hook comes on ‘Boshetunmai’ – I think it’s just keyboards but made to sound like brass instruments. I also love ‘Prokhozhiy’ with its “woo-ooh” vocals and guitars that sound like a malfunctioning printer.

Solid stuff from behind the Iron Curtain.

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