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CD: Motorama - Calendar | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Motorama - Calendar

CD: Motorama - Calendar

Russian five-piece hark back sweetly to post-punk gold

Motorama take the slow boat down the River Don to the Hacienda

A little-known fact about reality, seldom touched upon by quantum physicists in recent years, is that there’s a wormhole between Manchester in September 1981 and the far western Russian port city of Rostov-on-Don in the present. This would seem to be the only explanation for Motorama.

Their sound has been transported intact directly from the era of producers such as Martin Hannett, a deliciously warm amalgam of early New Order and The Chameleons with a honey-sweet trimming of Orange Juice’s pop sensibility (although, admittedly, the latter hailed from Glasgow, the curveball in this theory).

Motorama’s second album opens with guitars of the purest jangle, initially hinting at an African flourish but settling into early Eighties post-punk, albeit tinted with a perkiness that might have been missing 30 years ago. The group is the vehicle of guitarist-vocalist Vladislav Parshin whose lyrics are often enigmatically opaque (“I spend my days sitting in front of the fireplace/You spend your days dying like a rose in a vase”) yet convey a weight of novelistic hidden meaning. He boasts a gloom-croon that hints at Ian Curtis but is richer and smoother, arch and less desperate. Most of all he has a delicious way with a song. While the sound of the band is uniform throughout, sticking to their chosen template grounded in a solid metronomic rhythm section, songs such as “Image”, “Rose in a Vase” and “To the South” are flecked with melodic sunshine, alongside hints of longing and sadness.

Like their Mancunian forerunners Motorama seem keen to represent themselves via stylistic imagery rather than band photographs. They are as enigmatic as their music but they do perform live and, in fact, are touring with the Spinto Band in France next February. Someone should bring them over to the UK, perhaps even have them play Manchester. Watch out, though: if they get sucked back down the wormhole and signed to Factory Records, it may induce some sort of musical-apocalyptic temporal cataclysm.

Watch the video for "To The South"

A deliciously warm amalgam of early New Order with a honey-sweet trimming of Orange Juice’s pop sensibility


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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