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Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"A real electric shock"

Remember those first Girls Against Boys albums? The ones before the guys signed to Touch and Go? This album has that sound. But these guys aren't cool and detached. They're loud and in your face. Kinda like a poppier Jesus Lizard.

And guess what? Mr Russia hails from Chicago. Well, if that don't beat all... Interestingly, the label describes the band as a combination of Iggy Pop and the White Stripes. That's probably not too far off, either. The fact of the matter is that Mr Russia starts loud and fast, plays loud and fast and ends loud and fast. With some awfully raggedy hooks every once in a while.

I love the rough-heavy sound. It's somewhat artificial, as there are far too many overdubs to trick even the most inexperienced listener into believing this puppy was recorded live to tape. On the other hand, whoever twisted the knobs created a sound that feels alive. And not just alive, actually, but truly vibrant.

A real electric shock. This album carries one serious rush, and it never drops the ball. I'm not sure I could survive a live show; my heart couldn't take it.

Aiding & Abetting issue #303 - Aiding & Abetting

"a MR to be reckoned with"

AUGUSTA, GA - With a sensational pounding punk-inspired angst, Mr. Russia climbs into the airwaves clawing for a life unforeseen in the depths with the release of "Teething."

A debut crafted in the purest sense of pounding, relentless rhythm, Mr. Russia's recording is an expression of the fussy, melodramatic nature of angst in the modern world. Built upon tactful bass lines and sweeping, sensitive rhythmic guitar parts, the sound of the band resembles a close call or a near miss with some unforeseen danger in the darkness. After contributing to a tribute to Nick Cave and sharing the stage with a variety of well-known acts including the Dresden Dolls and Arcade Fire, Mr. Russia is ready for its own springboard into the musical cosmos.

From its inception, this record breaks down the doors with a booming response to simple thoughts. The underestimated force of "XOXO" reverberates behind the tracks that follow creating a roaring ride for the listener. Highlights include the creepy strains of "Damage," the powerful misunderstanding of "Skipping Hearts," and the eerie calls of a woeful guitar in "The New Standard."

However, the true sparkles of brilliance sprinkled throughout this debut can be found in two tracks that seem not to belong on a first time effort. With a cunning nature, the romantic must have and almost was combines in the smart, frenetic vocal of "Sneaking Cigarettes," which speaks to the power in the changes of ordinary moments. Relentless in its timing and voice, the sarcastic sneer of "Pretty Girls" provides the next glimpse of the possibility of this band. With a sincere sounding melody soaring into an angry sarcastic screech, this construction of solace and frustration is truly an artwork highlighting the shades of gray within any relationship.

Crashing sounds and stark melodies combine to offer a haunting first appearance in the debut work of Mr. Russia a Mr. to be reckoned with in the world of aggressive angst.

Issue #20.20 :: 12/10/2008 - 12/16/2008 - Metro Spirit

"MR RUSSIA Sellout"

I'm not exactly sure how many times I listened to the following songs from the forthcoming MR RUSSIA album before I realized the tracks didn't have any guitars on them. The light finally came on after seeing the following math problem on their Myspace: Bass + Drum - Guitar = all Rock

The band was started when Ivan Russia (vocals/bass) penned a handful of songs written for bass, drum and vocals. The guitar was intentionally omitted from the mix as he was "sick of playing under or behind guitars unnecessarily turned up to 11." The Chicago band started performing live as a two-piece initially, later solidifying the line-up with two members playing bass and sharing vocal responsibilities, one on synthesizer, and another pounding skins.

MR RUSSIA has shared the stage with acts such as Reverend Horton Heat, Girl In A Coma, Thrones (Earth/Melvins), Two Ton Boa, 31 Knots, Earl Greyhound and have been featured along with the Arcade Fire and the Dresden Dolls on the FTC Records David Bowie tribute album 2. Contamination, as well as the lead track on Eye for an Eye a tribute to Nick Cave.

The band's debut full-length, Teething, will hit store shelves on February 17 via Lens Records.

~Kip - Rock Sellout

"Sound Opinions on MR RUSSIA"

"Mr. Russia deliver a slash-and-burn mix of adrenaline and melody the band is currently putting the finishing touches on a debut album titled 'Teething.' If it includes songs as strong as "It's True" and "XOXO," it will be well worth a spin.

Jim DeRogatis, Chicago Sun-Times - Chicago Sun-Times

"“impossible to not get off your ass and shake it to""

When popping in Mr Russia's new free EP, "Training for the game show host" listeners will get an audible ass kicking from the start. The first track "Wooden Heart" busts into your ear lobes with some heavily distorted bass lines. The fact most surprising: there isn't even any guitar on the whole album, just heavy bass, synth and drums. It doesn't follow the typical rock band set up and that's what makes them extra cool. The vocals have a fun cocky edge to them that will remind you of Talking Heads or B-52's.

The album rolls on with fun tracks that make it nearly impossible to not get off your ass and shake it too. Such songs as "It's True" and there flawless rendition of Radiohead's staple "National Anthem", stand out as some of the best songs on the whole EP.

This latest attempt from Mr Russia is bound to get all people up and dancing and having a great time (alcohol not needed but may encourage creative moves). It is a great starter to any night of spinning at a party.

After it is all said and done if the fact that it's free isn't enough to convince you to give this album a try. At least let the great rock and roll and fun up beat attitude speak for itself. You would be a basement dwelling anti social fool to not go out and give "Training fir the game show host" a try. -Nick Coamey - The Deli

"they represent uber-fun and freneticism"

Imagine, if one can, a merger between Killdozer and Semisonic, or Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and a KTel records disco ball bash: there’s some gargantuan, gristly, distressed, crunchy, and ironic white boy funk-attack rhythm in here, bleached and bouncy too, or at least that’s what I gather from tracks like the opener “Wooden Heart.” Meanwhile, “It’s True” comes off as true blood indie rock that would easily fit alongside the Breeders. It swaggers without being pompous, kicks out party anthems without being boring and one-dimensional, and is both danceable and laughable as the slinging word play and fortified crunk funk chops thru the tinkling piano. Dare I say they represent uber-fun and freneticism, or Youtube friendly party platters for the post-plastic generation? “Fireball” comes out a bit slinky, dark, hypnotic, cheesy, and full of wet moustaches and big slimy ids: hormones drench every note like semen clawing towards heavenly home. The bass-in-your-face pummeling of “The National Anthem” wraps like wires around your puny brain, tightening until the blood throbs down in your ankles. It’s doesn’t have as much smooth smootchiness or kinky pandemonium as the previous tracks: it’s more like a Moby meditation, with crankier bits. Luckily, “Clap Clap Clap” drips with the kind of suss usually reserved for go-go dancers with nipples covered with plastic tassles. Not unlike Sexplosion period My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, other Windy City inconoclasts, remixed and ready. Last but not least, the album’s swan song, “Training for the Game Show Host,’ is a murky midnight lounge closer … a post-cocktail, sweltering cigarette croon, a bit enervated, but gentle on the hips and cerebrum after the rollickin earlier slabs. Watch out: the musical curve balls unleashed by these folks from Illinois might be dangerous. - Left of the Dial

"A History of MR RUSSIA"

Mr. Russia is not from Russia, but you probably already guessed that. What they are from, though, is some sludgy pool that formed behind CBGB's in the late '70s, stagnated throughout the '80s, was hit by lighting in the '90s, thus creating some rudimentary lifeforms that picked up some instruments and learned to play them alongside each other at the latter end of our current decade. Mr. Russia is primitive in their pursuits, clanking out simple-minded punk rock tunes that keep running after '80s synth pop flavors only to have those sounds melt away just beyond their reach. Mr. Russia wear uniforms that are not uniforms. Their look matches their sound, or is it the other way around? Mr. Russia plays "roots rock," or they would if the term "roots rock" hadn't been appropriated by a bunch of banjo and fiiddle playing pansies when in fact "roots rock" should be used to describe rock and/or roll that yanks itself out of the ground whole and squealing like a drunkard chasing after its basest tendencies. Mr. Russia had the balls to give out their last EP as a cassette only release. Mr. Russia's forthcoming debut, Teething, is one of the sweatiest sides of rock and/or roll we've enjoyed in the recent past.

Mr. Russia is a damn good time.

By Tankboy - Chicagoist

"MR RUSSIA is a cool band"

Neat Band, free sticker! Mr Russia is a cool band from Chicago that plays standard rock/pop music, presented in a very interesting and original manner without sounding contrived. This four piece band features two bass players, a damn good drummer, and a synth player, who deliver a catchy, energetic, and charismatic brand of rock ‘n’ roll. Fans of rhythm and groove will enjoy this record, as it makes you want to dance and play steering wheel drums. On the track “Pretty Girls� lead vocalist Ivan Russia sounds as quirky as Devo, as flamboyant as Frankie Venom and as hectic as Keith Morris, all in one song. On the opening track “xoxo� , you can clearly hear a really pissed off Joe Jack Talcum. This guy’s voice is all over the place, and constantly being complemented with quirky, catchy, sometimes humorous back up vocals from the band. Mr Russia makes you want to sing, dance, and at the same time go “What the hell did they just do?� Its hard to convey a simple thing in a brand new way, and Teething pulls it off and then some. While the band has an upbeat and catchy vibe they still convey a dark and disturbing energy that gives you those shivers up your spine that remind you of being scared in a movie theater. Mr. Russia is a killer band, and as a Chicago boy I am proud to share their blood. (I mean, unless they are total rock star jerkoffs or something……. I’ll have to call the scene police and ask.) I liked listening to this record. I’m going to listen to this record again, and I generally don’t like anything that strays away from traditional rock n roll, punk, or hardcore. Mr Russia are anything but traditional, and I like it, so you might too!

chris mattern - jersey beat




Feeling a bit camera shy