Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Soviettes: LP III

In the 1920s, Soviet Russia tried to reinvent its entire economic system with the often-disastrous Five-Year Plans. The Minnesota punk band The Soviettes, on the other hand, doesn't reinvent much at all on its third full-length disc, and the results are definitely not disastrous. The Soviettes know that punk works best when it's administered with a short sharp shock, and LP III zips along like an express train, its 14 songs clocking in at just under half an hour and the frenzied pace only slowing down once or twice, seemingly to let listeners catch their breath.

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Even the album's heartfelt love song "Together" gets a high-octane delivery—and it works just as well as a statement of band solidarity. The album's anarchic high point, "Roller Girls," celebrates another kind of team solidarity, paying tribute to a Minnesota women's roller-derby team. Of course, it's not all just breezy fun; LP III also unloads a healthy amount of proletarian anger that gives the music needed weight and sharpness. "Multiply And Divide" zings the cheap patriotism of the SUV set ("put a flag on the back and they'll see you've got American pride"), and "¡Paranoia Cha Cha Cha!" originally appeared on a Rock Against Bush compilation. But even though The Soviettes' name is a cheeky reference to the Communist Party, LP III's accent is definitely on "party." That aim is helped enormously by the fact that each of the four Soviettes pitch in on vocals with enough verve and passion to front a band by themselves. The band brings to mind a cheerleading squad trained by the Ramones.

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