At the end of 2020, Black Russians issued a selection of new tracks as part of a split with US horror punks, The Jasons. The “Soviet Punk Rock” band might not have been the bigger name, but their material ran rings around the American act, showing a musical tightness and a humour that fit their chosen genre perfectly. A couple of years down the line, their full length ‘Communist Dudes’ makes good on the promise of those earlier tracks, delivering thirteen Ramones influenced bangers, dealing with topics such as satanism, communism, and an iron curtain winter. Armed with massive riffs and played with tongues firmly in cheek, aside from an obviously DIY production sound, it’s almost everything genre fans could hope for.
In terms of split releases, this EP from The Jasons and The Black Russians ranks among the most high octane discs ever. With three songs apiece, the US horror punks and the ragged “Sovietcore” troupe do battle across a blistering fifteen minutes where classic Ramones obsessions sit beside sharper punk influences, and by the time The Black Russians go all out punk ‘n’ roll on an old Jasons tune, there’s even a suggestion that this could be just a little broader in appeal than your average Ramonescore record. Okay, maybe not that much broader, but it’s always a pleasure to hear a great band branching out a little.