Indiemunity (USA) reviews Breaking The Ice LP | Press | Privet Earth
Indiemunity (USA) reviews Breaking The Ice LP

26 Jan 2015

This is a band with its roots in Russia, with leader Ivan Smirnov being influenced by early American/British rock, resulting in a very modern sound that encapsulates that from the 70s/80s to the heavily dominated 90s to 2000s. The band performed under the name “Smirnov” for a few years before changing their name to “Privet Earth” in early 2013. In late 2009 they recorded their debut album “Privet Earth” which was engineered by Grammy-nominated producer Robb Vallier (McCartney, Eurythmics). The album landed them a lot of great reviews all over the world and got them as far as the 2011 Grammy ballot for “Best Rock Song” (The Saddest Boy In The World) and “Best Rock Performance” (The Saddest Boy In The World, The Sunshine Never Cries)In 2011 the “Ice” EP had followed and was also well received by critics and fans. Now they’re back with “Breaking The Ice.”

The first track Ice Okestra sets a different tone than what follows, but it’s nevertheless compelling. This is part one of two pieces at the beginning and end of the CD. More on that later, as one of the better tracks follow in Forest Queen, a masterstroke compared to most of the tracks, which are all still somehow very strong, anyway you slice them. The vocals start to impress a little more, for all they’re worth, on Big City, which isn’t far behind in every way. The voice is a good leader in everything to be found in this music, yet at the same time he’s no Frank Sinatra, so he simply knows how to use what he’s got, and it works no matter how you see it. As the disc wears on you can’t help but wonder where they were ten or fifteen years ago. They’d be written on every kid’s Pee Chee. Universal Child isn’t one of the high point, but the next track Kool Cool Boy is another outstanding track with a great chorus (something this band isn’t short on). It cruises along through songs like Bull S, and Feeling being a couple more stand outs. Things finally wind down to Part two of Ice Orkestra (full version) to close the album, leaving the listener beaten and begging for more. If only there wasn’t more fascinating music to be found backing what are essentially vocal heavy messages, it would be twice the excellence already displayed. Although this CD is awesome, it doesn’t come without its low points. Most of the energy on this release is to be found on the earlier tracks, but it doesn’t lose anything from being vocally dominated either, it’s a trio, and you can’t expect a symphony to emerge from three musicians. But if “Breaking The Ice” were a four or five piece, they’d be lethal.

Cory Frye

8/10 Stars