Lyapis Trubetskoy Agitpop

For the past 15 years, Lyapis Trubetskoy has been delivering a healthy dose of rock/ska to the Belarus-Russian music scene. Their latest release, Agitpop, is a "best of" collection and their North American debut. The album's 18 tracks are full of driving guitar, horns and a fun bouncability. Although they have won awards (such as the 2007 MTV Portugal Best Video Award for anti-capitalist anthem "Capital"), the album's pitfall is that many of the songs sound generic. By relying on age-old beats and rhythms paired with vocalist Sergey Mikhalok's monotone delivery, the album gets tiring fast. The band's strong point, however, is their witty political lyrics. On "Manifest," Sergey sings in Russian: "This is my election programme. Listen, bourgeois! Listen, proletarian! A bowl of vodka on every corner! No job ― hail to the booze!" Other winning tracks include "Krasnyi Fakel," with a slight rockabilly influence, and the bonus remix of "Capital," which features a piano cabaret twist. (Eastblok)