CD REVIEW: Privet Earth - Breaking the Ice
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Psychedelic Rock, Alternative Rock, Punk
Weakness: More solo segments, More vocal harmonies, Cover art
Privet Earth is a 3 piece alternative rock band that just released their latest full length CD entitled their latest 13 track release “Breaking the Ice.” It all started when Ivan Smirnov moved to Los Angeles from a small town in Russia to pursue his dream of music. With a growing following on both sides of the Atlantic ocean, Grammy ballot for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance and Top 10 Reverbnation ranking in the World, PRIVET EARTH! is ready to take on the Universe.
First up Track 1 “Ice Orkestra” serves up an enticing guitar ridden groove meshed against hypnotic lyrical content, strong melody and impressive harmonies with heartfelt vocals from Smirnov. This intro track sets the tone rather well for a dynamic yet rocking CD like this. Track 2 “Forest Queen” literally shifts gears a bit with its in love based melody, that continues to build into a passionate yet melodic chorus complete with well-placed strings, impassioned vocal presence and a infectious musical flow. Track 3 “Big City” serves up yet another superb track with well placed vocal harmonies, and thought provoking lyrical content that floes and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As these songs slowly unfolded I could hear many musical influences reminiscent of classic The Verve, Radiohead, Fall Out Boy, The Killers, The Strokes, Beck, Franz Ferdinand, and Death Cab for Cutie. I can even hear a bit of classic Pink Floyd, INXS, Queen to The Psychedelic Furs. I would classify this music as Alternative Rock, with a slight aftertaste of Progressive Hard Rock and trippy Psychedelic ambience that is unpredictable and melodic. The songs themselves are addictive, eccentric, fascinating, and very interesting – all reflections of the band. One can’t notice intellectual, passionate and powerful subject matter delivered between the spoken word, with a heavy dose of raw truth and bi-polar yet powerful vocal emotion. The musicianship from all members are rock solid across the board. Smirnov and company showcase rock solid production instants throughout. Besides the 4 piece standard you will also notice things like thick low end beats and rhythms, keyboards, Electric Piano, melodic strings, solo guitar, synthetic sound effects and lush vocal harmonies. Smirnov has amazing power, control and intensity throughout. HE sings all songs with reckless abandon and jets it rip. Equally as impressive is the how he makes each song his own making a distinct and strong (singer to listener) vocal connection. Smirnov has an appealing timber, falsetto and crisp, sharp baritone and takes many impressive vocal risks throughout each song. The songs themselves are reckless, progressive and packed to the hilt with raw intensity and lyrical content straight from the neurotic psyche. Smirnov’s vocal style works with respect to this style of music with its stereotypical jagged edge delivery – he really let sit all hang out. Sometimes when he screams he reminds me of Chris Cornell, other times he reminds me of Freddy Mercury. What I like most about the music is its fin filled intensity, flunked out intellectualism and song for song consistency. All songs are short and sweet musical experiences, never too winded, never to short. All engineering aspects check out. CD possesses solid low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity. To melodic “Universal Child” to rocking “Kool Cool Boy” to grooving “Dive” and “Bull S” to heartfelt “Give it to the Wind” to rocking “Blue Bottle” to hypnotic “Feeling” this CD has something for just about everyone. During my initial research I discovered this band to be a very hot topic on a stage – another big factor to consider when evaluating a band. CD ends with Track 13 “Ice Orkestra (Full Version) the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
I wish there were more solo segments and vocal harmonies throughout catalog. CD Cover art is a bit lacking.
In close “Breaking the Ice” by Privet Earth is a fun-filled rocked out musical experience from start to finish. Although it’s primarily alt-rock based you never know what’s coming round the corner with this band. From Disco, to Funk to Psychedelic Soul this band has a lot of depth and is just a lot of fun to check out. The music is fresh and highly entertaining. Its strong suit – its amazing vocal presence and impressive songwriting finesse by this band led by Ivan Smirnov. The songs are extremely melodic, passionate, and captivating and somewhat dark and unpredictable. All these songs have a ring of truth to them. Each song possesses a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Privet Earth are a surging LA based band for many reasons armed with a brilliant perspective an amazing voice to inspire your vivid imagination.