Zidruns: carrying the unbearable
As one of the foreign observers of the Latvian rock scene I’m always delighted when I find something super fresh on a Latvian label. After all, it’s far from both the tail-chasing navel-gazing American indie rock scene and a long way from Soviet times when rock was an outlaw activity that sounded like Soviet era band Aquarium.
Today’s new release from Latvia is from the band Zidruns, titled un tas, ko nevar nest which translates to Zidruns carrying the unbearable. The album combines several unexpected elements, including some interesting ambient sounds and some different noises from a cat on both “Grass” and “Kalina Davinas.” (No clue whose cat is being sampled.)
Given my own life, I choose to hear some structural influence of mid-oughts indie rock—like Bloc Party and the Editors– but such influences are fleeting. The Latvian four-piece has been around since 2004 and this is their third studio recording.
Overall un tas, ko nevar nest sounds like Zidruns is sui generis– like they invented themselves—which is exactly what I’m looking for in a Latvian release. It’s fresh and different, like a zesty and bright salad with a lot of zippy citrus notes, not like the dull industrial sameness that comes on so many major studio releases in the US.
Since the lyrics are in Latvian–and my Latvian is pretty terrible– my clues of what the songs are about come only from the titles. Romance doesn’t seem to be a big thing for them. “No songs about love between people” a communication from “I Love You Records” assured me.
Carrying the unbearable is so much better than the middle of the road pablum that passes for mainstream American music now. If you’re a program director, skip right to “Varat Ceret” for the catchiest ought-to-be-the-single from the album.
Available for purchase on vinyl (squee!) and CD from I Love You Records in Latvia.
Full disclosure: I Love You Records let me pitch my sleeping bag backstage of their stage when I was there for the Positivus Music Festival. (It’s a mostly camping festival.)
My apologies for the lack of proper Latvian diacritical marks in this post. Forgive me and my American keyboard.