If the idea of a great rock band from Siberia sounds like the setup for a particularly lame joke, you clearly haven't heard Mumiy Troll yet. Formed in Vladivostok in 1983, the quartet was condemned back in the U.S.S.R. as "one of the most socially dangerous bands in the world." Today, however, founder and frontman Ilya Lagutenko, multi-instrumentalist Yuri Tsaler, bassist Eugene Zvidionny and drummer Oleg Pungin pack arenas throughout the former Soviet Union with genre-hopping Russian-language pop. The group's nearly perfect forthcoming U.S. release, Comrade Ambassador, and subsequent tour should finally earn well-deserved legions of fans in this hemisphere. With just the right balance of pop enthusiasm and spy-rock moodiness, Mumiy Troll creates engaging, unusual indie rock that transcends language barriers.
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