My Woshin Mashin - Evil Must Die

There are moments during My Woshin Mashin's release, Evil Must Die, where this bi-vocal act sounds a little like a musical tale of two singers.

Female singer, Bibi Tulin, can sing powerfully which she does convincingly during "Superhero." However, she is at her best and most effective during slower, prettier tracks, such as "Eli," which is European folk-y with its accordion (or electronic instrumentation that imitates accordion) coloring.

Hugo Simons, along with and Tulin and Wolfgang Scherman on keyboards, lyrics, sampling, mixing and mastering, add up to an oddball trio. And it is Simons that gives the act its harsher side. For example, during a track titled "Hobo Rap" he announces, "I wanna be like Dostoyevsky," which is a strange admission especially when you know what a tortured soul that famous author actually was. On the majority of tracks where Simons is lead vocalist, the arrangements are mostly hyperactive, hard-driving and nearly industrial dance songs. A good example of what Simons does is "Vodka," which sounds to be a personal endorsement for mass consumption of that famous Russian hard liquor.

In contrast, when Tulin sings "Babylon 4," as well as almost every other place, it's almost like a nighttime lullaby. If Simons ever tried to sing a lullaby, one imagines some sort of nightmare epidemic might break out.

My Woshin Mashin's prior release was primarily comprised of character study songs, whereas Evil Must Die is much more 'real world-centric.' They've said it's about "degradation of the television, money as a modern god, animal rights, really bad people we know and their behaviour, the loneliness of true heroes, etc. "It's as though they're approaching the planet's evils in two very different ways. There's the gentle, Tulin tactic, and then there's Simons' aggressive take. Each method aims at the same target, only using much different weaponry.

For American ears, My Woshin Mashin's music has an international, exotic feel that is irresistible. The members of this act are from Russia and Germany, and although the lyrics are in English, these sounds retain a distinctive Euro dance vibe. You'd never think, 'Hey, that sounds like something from Kentucky' while listening to any of these songs, for example.

About the only negative factor about this album is how there's so much going on. It sometimes feels a little haphazard; as though these musicians couldn't decide on a consistent sonic tone for the album, so they just threw in everything but the kitchen sink. Yes, it's surprising when each successive song can sound like an entirely different band ; yet sometimes, a little stylistic consistency goes a long way, and it would have been a little easier to warm up to if the various tracks contained just a little bit more connectedness.

With that said, though, there's no denying the obvious talent exhibited by these three musicians. They seemingly can do almost anything they put their minds to. Apprehending the doomsday-like themes expressed with this album's songs may take a little while to fully digest, because the music is so widely all over the map. It's much like an aural wild goose chase. However, when it's as good as this music is, My Woshin Mashin's particular goose is well worth chasing.

My Woshin Mashin - Evil Must Die

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