All Whats Rock (UK) reviews Breaking The Ice LP | Press | Privet Earth
All Whats Rock (UK) reviews Breaking The Ice LP

January, 22, 2015

Genre: Rock/Alternative/New-Wave/Electronic

Sounds Like: David Bowie

Pirvet Earth is the creation of Russian native Ivan Smirnov, who, after a childhood of musical training and the release of an album at age nineteen titled “JL White”, pursued his dream of international music success by moving to America. Despite initial hardships, Ivan Smirnov formed the band that would become Privet Earth in 2007. In 2009, the band made their debut album which was met with significant success; being well received internationally and winning a position on the 2011 Grammy ballot for “Best Rock Song” and “Best Rock Performance”.¬†Privet Earth is currently sitting at #5 in the Reverbnation charts, and has held the number one spot at times last year. Smirnov is a very colorful character on stage, often dressing in women’s clothing, particularly gowns and dresses. His classification of his music is “blitz-rock”: taking classical influences and combining them with American rock n’ roll to make very unique original material. This album, titled “Breaking the Ice”, will be released March 10th.

“Breaking the Ice” is an enveloping typhoon of sound. The term blitz-rock is accurate, because the music seemingly attacks from all sides all at once and has a very surrounding capability. The evidence of Smirnov’s classical training and influences are apparent right at the first song. The tune “Ice Orkestra” consists of an exuberant violin section, yet the song has very catchy rock hooks as well as an excellent sense of melody. Many of the songs on “Breking the Ice” feature an all out assault of fantastic musicianship and rich melodic layering. It may seem very spontaneous and overwhelming, but this album is actually a pretty high caliber, well thought out, well executed example of musicianship on Smirnov’s behalf. Very little about this album adheres to typical popular song structure, it is very original, very fresh, and quite bold. The album is so energetic, too. It is a mixture of classical music and electronic dance, yet with the energy and sensibility of rock n’ roll. In many ways, it reminds one of the New Wave movement in the eighties, not so much from a musical standpoint as from a energy and liberation of creativity standpoint. Smirnov’s vocals are amazing, he has a very unique, powerful, and versatile voice that implements his own brand of great phrasing which matches the energy, creative spontaneity, and overall craziness of the music perfectly. Think the depth, breadth, and boldness of David Bowie, but spliced with electrifying power from someone like Justin Hawkins of The Darkness. Songs such as “Give It To The Wind” really demonstrate Smirnov’s unique vocal prowess that really tops off the creative edge that this music has to offer.

Sometimes when something like “Breaking the Ice” comes along that is so groundbreaking and fresh, people can be a little turned off by it, simply because it is a little weird or ahead of its time. Such was the case with David Bowie’s stuff, and such may be the case for some with Privet Earth. The music, although very innovative, rigorously perfected, and articulately delivered, may be too strange and unconventional for the masses, which are used to hearing simply verse-chorus-verse tunes. True, this traditional model is rapidly changing, but some of the synth lines, classical implements, and unique vocal and lyrical content may be a little to much for any immediate non-niche audience to absorb on a mass level. The “blitz” might be a little too much for the average American. Now, some of Privet Earth’s videos did hit number one in European audiences, such as Italy, but America is a very different market at this time, and still has a little catching up to do in terms of universal acclaim to new and innovative bands. However, these aspects of the American market are quickly changing, and Privet Earth’s music is likely to only become more and more popular as people become more familiar with it and recognize Smirnov’s unique talents.

“Breaking the Ice” by Privet Earth is truly an innovative and unique album that displays fantastic musicianship and originality from frontman Ivan Smirnov. The vocals are fantastic, the instrumentation and implementation of different styles of music works very well. Now, all the rest of the world has to do is catch up, if they haven’t already.

Owen Matheson

10/10 Stars