Release Date: Jul 22, 2008
Record label: Mute
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
On Give Me a Wall, ¡Forward, Russia! sounded like a scrappier, even more earnest Bloc Party, setting their angst to sharp guitars and basslines that owed a heavy debt to post-punk. They wore their hearts on their collective sleeve, and on Life Processes, they do so even more literally and bombastically. Working with former Minus the Bear member and producer Matt Hughes (also responsible for twiddling knobs for Mastodon), the band sounds massive, and massively ambitious: "We Are Grey Matter"'s enormous buzzsaw riffs, vast keyboard expanses, and quicksilver rhythmic shifts make Give Me a Wall's prog and emo leanings explicit.
¡Forward, Russia! is a very cerebral band. Its breakthrough album, Give Me a Wall, featuring wiry post-punk songs with numbers for track names, caused a minor sensation in the U.K. Its follow-up, Life Processes, is also cerebral, but this time it's to a fault. Although Give Me a Wall used grit and wit to claw its way to being a surprise success, Life Processes sees a band trying to up the stakes to no avail.