¡Forward Russia! Give Me a Wall

Joining the ranks of Neu!, You Say Party! We Say Die! and of course, !!!, ¡Forward Russia! certainly put their punctuation to good use, with a frenzied, over-urgent rumpus that makes you wonder why they stopped at two. D.I.Y. heroes over in England, the members of the band also run the Dance to the Radio imprint, which originally released Give Me a Wall, their debut album. Now on Mute here in North America, the fiery four-piece take the blueprint that Bloc Party so effectively instated and up the ante with scathing vocal attacks, rapid-fire rhythm freak-outs and abrasive guitars that have you wondering, "Have the Blood Brothers gone British?” At times, closely resembling an earnest version of the late, great Test Icicles (best heard on both parts to "Fifteen”), ¡FR! at times seem like they have almost too many ideas up their sleeve to execute. "Eighteen,” for instance, throws some sentiment and wider instrumentation into the mix, but at the rate they move, it all vanishes within microseconds. "Sixteen,” however, more makes up for this though, reeling you in with a slow-paced preamble that erupts into a flurry of crashing drums and shrill screams, and then letting loose for a cacophony of aggression. Give Me a Wall excels in steadying its momentum, something in which there’s plenty of, but there’s a sense that they can only do this for so long and you have to wonder where they can go from here. For the time being though, it works wonders. (Mute)