Culture House Daily

Is Pussy Riot’s music actually any good?

25 February 2014

6:30 AM

25 February 2014

6:30 AM

Victims of state persecution, ambassadors for day-glo knitwear and wank fodder for beardy liberals the world over, the members of Pussy Riot have been filling both prison cells and column inches since 2012. In the process, they’ve also become one of the most famous bands on the planet. But let me ask you this – have you ever actually heard any of their music? And crucially, is it any good? Was it purely their politics that led the Cossacks to attack them with horsewhips last week, or is that just the way they do pop criticism in the Caucasus? We took to the internet to get some balanced and entirely un-facetious critical perspective.

‘Kropotkin Vodka’

As it turns out, they play rather fast and loose with the idea of being a punk rock group; the whole ‘music’ bit is pretty incidental. They’ve never actually released a record, but there are about half a dozen songs doing the rounds on YouTube.

It’s more or less as you’d expect: lots of shouting over the kind of dial-a-thrash that Top Shop might use to market a ‘rebellious’ hair-care product:

[Alt-Text]


‘Death to Prison, Freedom to Protest’

Laziness and caution prohibit a visit to Google Translate, so for all I know Pussy Riot might be pop’s answer to Pushkin.  But I suspect they aren’t. Whatever the case, you’ll agree from the delivery of bangers like Smert tyurme, svobodu protest that Russian really isn’t the language to rock in:

‘Putin Lights Up Fires’

It’s all very low-rent and DIY, a fair bit of it based around samples of records by wisely forgotten 70s new wave groups like the Cockney Rejects. At best, it’s charmingly crap (the songs are grouped together as a collection called Kill the Sexiest – cute), at worst, their music pulls off the unique feat of being both boring and extremely irritating. Imagine Alastair Darling producing a Limp Bizkit record and you’ve basically got the measure of it:

‘Punk Prayer’

The problem with Pussy Riot’s music is that it’s too polite. I felt genuinely let down when found I could take more than 30 seconds of their music without wincing in pain. As with any halfway ambitious punk group, the point is to offend. They’ve made great headway in this department with their Putin-baiting PR stunts, but their recorded output is a cop-out. If you’re really hell-bent on pissing off churchgoers, then fine. But a decent tune or two might work wonders:

With Putin and Medvedev bricking it over Ukraine and protests kicking off around the sentencing of pro-democracy activists in Moscow, let’s be clear: annoying they might be, but Pussy Riot are making a brave stand against censorship and repression. If nothing else, they give yet another reason for Russell Brand and his apathetic apparatchiks to sod off. But having typed all this, I can tell you I’m bloody happy I’ll never have to listen to their music again.

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Show comments
  • fleetfootphil

    These people are a punk band like I’m a Nobel Laureate. They have legitimate issues to confront but they appear phony and self-aggrandizing.

  • Marjolein Reynolds

    That is a good question.
    Have they any talent at all. Apart from shouting and being rude and disrespectful of other people’s sensitivities.

  • Blazenka Hudson-trograncic

    Why the title picture with those disgusting ‘fisting’ gestures , making my eyes water.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    Cool stuff!
    Now run the videos, switch OFF the sound, call up another video at the same time, I suggest this one:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0A3-wc0rpw
    …and watch the PussyRiot stuff with that new sound file!

  • The_greyhound

    Interestingly if such talentless yobs had staged the same stunt in, say, a mosque in London, their sentences would have been at least as severe.

    The criticism of Mr Putin is just more of the neo-colonial arrogance of our moronic liberals.

    • Kitty MLB

      Oh Yes, Putin is a pillar of the community and an example
      of tolerance to us all He is also kind to the animals he is fond of posing next to.

      • The_greyhound

        Tolerance is over rated.

        Better to have standards.

      • Reiner Torheit

        Crawl back up Barry Obama’s reсtum, you worthless pile of fascist sсum

        How’s that regime change thing in Ukraine worked out for you and your yankee paymasters?? Now go choke on a beigel.

  • potsmaster

    You obviously don’t “get” punk rock music. And also don’t really know anything about it. Go back to listening to the Shipping Forecast and stay out of our world.

    • pp22pp

      I have no desire whatsoever to join your world. Please stay out of mine.

    • Fergus Pickering

      What is your world, old fruit?

  • Роман Уляшев

    What repressions is he talking about? West bs, as allways.

  • Donafugata

    Desperate for attention, lots of money and fame.
    I’m glad they got arrested for their antics in a church, they should now go and repeat the performance in a mosque and they will be guaranteed to get the attention they crave.

  • John Lea

    Loved watching those talentless bints being beaten by that unreconstructed Russian copper. Have watched same clip about 6 times now and it never loses its fragrance!

    • Stuart Barstow

      And there you have it, the type of person this rag appeals to.

  • Fergus Pickeranus

    All i see here are a lot of right wing homophobic and bigoted comments from right wing loons. I’m a gay man and i believe p u s s y riot should be nominated for the Nobel Peace
    Prize for alerting the world to Putins mistreatment of the LGBT
    community

    • Eugene Fishgalov

      I’ve looked through the comments: which one was homophobic or showing any right-wing sentiment? o_O

      • Fergus Pickeranus

        right wing bigots like yourself cant see homophobia even when its in staring you in the face. Must be due to the fact you loons are all swivel eyed

        • Eugene Fishgalov

          So would you point out the commentaries where the issue would stare in the face then? So far, I really do not see any reasons for you insulting people.

        • pp22pp

          The comments are not homophobic. And don’t call me a bigot. I had a good relationship with my gay father.
          Also, you’re name ‘pickeranus’ is childish and discusting. If you want acceptance from the wider communitry, you might try dropping the infantile smuttiness.

          • Kitty MLB

            ‘ the wider community’ you mean those
            hairy mammoth bunch of turnips who stifle individuality.
            If you want discusting read Catullus.
            Would love to stay and chat, but I must spread my wings.
            Adios.

        • Kitty MLB

          Mr Pickeranus would like to grab the bulls by the horns,
          but first your sir name
          Is hilarious ! you should be bottled and given out as a tonic
          on the NHS, especially for right wing bigots and minorities.
          Glad you are gay by the way ( straight men can be annoying)
          I just have an issue with you being a pre op transsexual.
          I hope after the op you will become a straight female
          so therefore still be interested in chaps. if not you
          will lose your uniqueness and identity.
          Its a pleasure making your acquaintance, and please
          do not let the grumbling locals frighten you away.

    • Вячеслав Киров

      You were in Russia? are you sure you are not lying?…
      And you know in the United Arab Emirates gay live like kings… Believe?

    • Fergus Pickering

      Well, I am pleased to agree with my fan here. What is all this crap about talent? We are talking about pop music here. Talent is quite irrelevant. I must say that dellighting in seeing women beaten up is a curious taste. Unless you are Islamic of course when it is normal behaviour

      • Kitty MLB

        Your fan will certainly liven up this place.
        I hope he never suggests placing his sir name next to a cartoon
        of Mohammed. He will next admit to going on a pub crawl
        every Friday night ( must be Friday for obvious reasons )
        wearing a burka, ordering several beers, a few packets of pork
        scratching’s and burping loudly.
        I would also send him to Russia, he would upset Putin too- excellent !

        • Fergus Pickering

          He is plainly an A1 good egg.

          • Kitty MLB

            Agreed. I told him that he should make himself available to Jeremy Hunt to be made into a medicine
            for bigots & the terminally dull.
            Although , before his gender change op,
            that may mess with the equilibrium.

    • Reiner Torheit

      It’s you that’s the right wing LOON here. And too gutless to type your name, I see? Keep supporting Barry Obama and his Gitmo Gulag, you pathetic fasсist sсrote.

  • Ironside

    At least they’re not Miley Cyrus or Justin Beiber.

  • pp22pp

    If I wandered into a supermarket and did what they did with a piece of frozen chicken, I would be led away in handcuffs and it wouldn’t make the 6 c’clock news. If these are the best dissidents that the West can find to defend in Putin’s Russia, all I can do is shake my head sadly and walk away.

    • allymax bruce

      I think they’re hilarious. Just look at the lead-picture; they look like a bunch of comic-capers. I wonder if they will win the worse-dressed act of 20013/14?

      • Hexhamgeezer

        Have a heart – they’re extweemly wadical.

  • Kitty MLB

    I cannot provide a hypothesis on something I have fortunately
    never heard, do not want to be snooty but its hardly baroque or jazz,
    words ruin good music.
    Although I must say although I might not have protested in the way they do,
    they have a right to voice their feelings against oppression and that hobnail
    boot wearing miscreant Putin.

  • La Fold

    Cockney Rejects new wave? Have a word with yourself you plum.

  • rtj1211

    And if they behaved that way in London or Washington, you’d be calling them rioting yobs who needed putting away………

    • NotYouNotSure

      Worse, try walking around with a ski mask in public and see what would happen to you.

      • La Fold

        Years ago up here the police arrested and were going to charge a 13 year old schoolboy for wearing a balaclava doing his paper round.

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