Russian Invasion! Garage Rockers SONIC DEATH Land in US


Nikita Krikunov & Arsenij Morozov on the cover of GOTHIC SESSION

Formerly Padla Bear Outfit, this St. Petersburg, Russia based duo is composed of Arsenij Morozov and Nikita Krikunov. They now call themselves SONIC DEATH. They have carved a distinct garage-y, moody niche out of a retro 60s psychedelic pastiche. I am not even sure what I just wrote. In any event, in rare form, these gentlemen found Aphonia Recordings and sent in a demo. We get quite a few demos and certainly we try to give some attention to ones that catch our ears. Luckily for me, I still do have my ear holes open. Listen below!

Morozov describes the process of recording “GOTHIC SESSION” thus:

After a little break we started work on a new session. Seven fresh songs were recorded on a Tascam cassette Portastudio, sitting in the already known bathroom. At this time we used a clean slightly reverbed guitar sound, the drum section was shaded with maracas. The sound is soft, psychedelic vibrating, like The Cannanes meet Vivian Girls on The Seeds cover party. The lyrics are all about dark love emotions and solitude. All of this has been called GOTHIC SESSION. The first track with the western spirit and refrain “I take off all of me/ You will not get pleasure” is entitled ‘Pleasure’ and is like a roll call with Stones ‘Satisfaction’. The second called ‘Now(Son Of A Bitch)’ and has at the end the converted quotation from Misfits “I am goddamn son of a bitch/ you better think about it baby”. Third song named ‘Marzipan’, and has a sample from an amateur slap porn video, whose plot is about pining for the attention from a girlfriend. The fourth acoustic-postpunk song ‘Streets’ laments the loneliness in the city. Fifth ‘To Me’ is classic garage-y amateur guitar rock. The sixth track ‘Huuuh-uuh-uuuh’ is an acoustic ballad for two voices. The last one ‘Floor’ is a confluence of The Jesus and the Mary Chain with Buddy Holly and back again. On the cover, we photographed against a background of the crucifix as Bible sellers in East European chic.
Dat shit cray!

This music is decidedly lo-fi. That’s OK. I don’t really see that as being all that important in terms of the songs. The songwriting is incredible. Even though it is grimy, gritty, loud and rambunctious, the songwriting doesn’t suffer. In fact, the whole record has a posture of being relaxed and effortless, which I find particularly charming. Folks, this is garage-psyche at its best. It embodies everything you want it to be. If they weren’t singing in Russian I would think they were from late 1960s Los Angeles. Seriously, it is that level of fidelity to the roots of that scene that these two obviously take very (un)seriously. As their Bandcamp page states: “We are two horrible motherfuckers with problems.”

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