It can be difficult to tell the difference between an act inspired by the past and just another hype machine seeking to ride previous decades in music, the same reason Mike Patton blasted Wolfmother a few years ago for essentially trying way too hard to be Led Zeppelin. Cloaked by a very borderline heavy metal name, overlord (all lowercase) has us wondering what demographic they are aiming for, but it still sounds pleasant, and the comically vengeful album title makes musicians worldwide kick themselves for not considering it first.
Where albums such as Coma Cinema’s recent Blue Suicide toe a line on minimalistic indulgence and weepy longing, In Soviet Russia, My Heart Breaks You takes hoping for the best while expecting the worst to a new horizon that isn’t entirely new. This idea is honorable: Several others have done it successfully, and it really boils down to picking what sound best illustrates your emotional desecration on an oscillator.
In Soviet Russia, My Heart Breaks You is purely a record for the dumped and disheveled lovers. Early rock-and-roll meets flighty, romantic alternative (“You Loved Me”, “Oh, My Mechanical Heart!”) that really puts your old lovesick poetry into perspective. Whether the mood dictates a WWII-era call to arms in defense of hapless nerds everywhere (“Battle Hymn Of The Romantic“), or you’re lamenting the long-term damages of raising children on Disney fantasy alone (“Keep It From The Baby“), nothing is off limits for overlord and their generation-traipsing, Beatles-esque jingles (“Back To The Big Lie”).
If 2011 needed a break-up album during its own bone-chilling winter, overlord’s half-hour nugget should suffice.
Essential Tracks: “Battle Hymn of the Romantic”, “Keep It From the Baby”, and “You Loved Me”