Brooklyn’s Russian Baths showed us a sliver of what they’re capable of on their 2018 debut EP, “Penance” – and it was quite intriguing. Amongst the four songs on the EP, the duo, comprised of Luke Koz and Jess Rees showcased their penchant for dense experimentation with a solid four-song effort that blended shoegaze, noise-rock, and dream pop. Now, almost two years later, the band has released their wildly impressive debut full-length, Deepfake, which sends their genre-bending experimentation into the stratosphere.
There’s nothing subtle about Deepfake, instead Russian Baths showcases their ability to perform with precision and wit, as they take listeners on a dark and experimental journey from noise-rock chaos to ambient shoegaze, sometimes within the same song. “Scrub It,” the album’s fourth track nicely represents the record’s overarching sonic patterns, as it opens with enormous, fuzzy sounding guitars before descending into an eerie, swooning synth drone, which resurfaces in the intro to “Detergent.” Other notable tracks include the 6-minute epic, “Ghost,” which experiments with propulsive feedback and guitar noise, “Tremble,” which opens with a hypnotic, Sonic Youth-stylized creeping guitar riff and cymbals, and the furious and fast sounding “Ambulance.” Russian Baths definitely have a penchant for feedback and enormous sounding guitars, and though the vocals are sometimes low in the mix, it’s certainly worth noting that both Koz and Rees’ celestial voices are an important element on many tracks, piercing through the swirling sounds of synths, guitars, and drums.
Overall, the duo’s first full-length effort is louder, sharper, and vaster, benefiting tremendously from production by Uniform’s Ben Greenberg and their brash, boundary-pushing experimentation.
You can purchase Deepfake on vinyl via Good Eye Records.
All images courtesy of Russian Baths.
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