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On their debut album Peregar, this band hailing from Trier, Germany, present a mix of ska, punk and Russian style polka. They themselves call their sound īblack tea flavoured schnitzel beatī. Like with some ska bands, also this band has a few extraordinary instruments like French horn, tuba, several saxophones, accordion, violin, bass and a rattle. The musicians do know how to play all these instruments and you can hear a lot of Russian soulfulness and melancholy in every song.
The vocals of Ivan are coarse and harsh, maybe you could compare it to Father Frost who has strained his icy vocal cords with a bottle of vodka. Or maybe it sounds just like men with too much alcohol in their blood stream who sing traditional folk songs. Lyrically, the songs are about many things like drugs, booze, cheating, lost love, the army, pirates, gherkins and other topics. Most of the songs are in Russian but there are also a few German ones. Here you can hear Ivanīs Russian accent clearly.
Those who think that after the 13th songs, like it is stated on the CD cover, the album is over will be surprised because after only a few seconds there is some talking and then thereīs another instrumental piece. But even after this, thereīs more a German song only played with an acoustic guitar. It has the cutesy title When I Was a Little Kitten. Awww
The booklet also features, for all homemakers, the recipe for the Russian specialty Pelmeni (dumplings filled with minced meat). Ivan Ivanovich & the KremlKrauts present their songs with a good portion of self-irony and their lyrics are full of pitch black humour (one can only hope that it really is meant as humour). I can imagine that the gigs of this band are pretty wild and itīs fun to listen to the album at first but it quickly gets old after a while. The vocals are too much like the drivel of a drunk Russian and also otherwise, they arenīt really brilliant. Those interested in the Russian way of life will maybe enjoy this album, for me itīs already too much.