So, who the (@#*& is Mumiy Troll
, you ask? Oh, just Crossfade's favorite discovery since Monday. Here are some essential amazing things you need to know about this Russian foursome:
- They are one of the biggest bands in their homeland; although it's okay if you have never, ever heard of them because they only recently began to sing in English.
- They have been around in one form or another, led by frontman Ilya Lagutenko, since 1983.
- Ilya's first-ever band was a "psychedelic punk" act called Bunny Pee.
- The band has dubbed its style "rockapops," because apparently the pop versus rock divide is gigantic in Russia.
- Mumiy Troll, in its early days under the long shadow of the Iron Curtain, was banned by the town's local Communist Party Chief and labeled "one of the most socially dangerous bands in the world."
- The band's name is chock-full of cultural references that would fly over Americans' heads. It literally translates to "Mummy Troll," but is a play on the Moomins, or the Swedish/Finnish children's book series Mumintroll.
- The band's sound these days, unlike so many Eastern European acts, is actually easily palatable to a Western rock audience. These days, it boasts a New Wavey style that is at once glossy and raw. Franz Ferdinand fans, for instance, should enjoy this.
- Still, its debut "crossover" attempt, the single and video for "Me Eskimo (Polar Bear)," is hardly a stab at mainstream popularity. It's an English-language remake of the band's song "Medvedica," and the video, created by a Latvian artist friend, aims for WTF-worthy scenarios from take one.
Seriously, the video involves human-size pickles pleasuring themselves in peep show booths, and then lustily attacking some bear mascots. Later, the mascots pleasure themselves and engage in the kind of "pile-ons" that may actually turn on some bona fide furries. Add some racy shots of human asses on fire (literally), and you get the kind of thing that Commies back in the day would have hated ... and that makes for Internet gold in 2k10. Enjoy below.
The band plays the still-unopened new venue Nowhere Lounge on South Beach on August 19. We'll have more for you about the band -- and the venue -- in coming weeks.