Sanjeev Shama, «Panic Attack Theorist Article» (26th of May 2005)
"Oi ty goi esi, Aleshenka! Ne pushu tebya v Zemlyu vo Svyatu"
Terrence Stamp's threatening voice in Federico Fellini’s Toby Dammitt whispers: "Now you are a man. Bury your first toy and your mother’s picture". Distant noises: the wind, maybe the rain. A man screams and then laughs as an idiot; a car makes the tyres screech and the jukebox starts with “Toby or not to Be”, a trivial bubblegum-pop based on the Nino Rota theme, written for that eccentric “vision” of the riminese master. Everything is so strange. But it’s just the beginning. A beginning that reveals some first sign, without going beyond. Now let us proceeding in order.
First of all, the band’s birth. It was born as a studio project on initiative of a group of musicians - Tikhon “Hee-Haw” Kubov (voice, samples), Danila “Muscular” Smirnov (bass guitar, synth, programming), Ivan “Mandwill” Ljudewig (guitars), Alexander “Edward” Telpook (polivox, programming), Vadim "Nos" Latishev (drums), and a number of partners come from different bands of local underground music (WOMBA, Kirpichi, I.F.K., MUX, etc.), the Won James Won collective, set in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, plays one of the most exciting and hallucinate music of our time. A music that criticizes the way of playing rock, whom language is used just to destabilize putting it vis-à-vis with its extreme opportunities of transformation.
Introduced into the Russian Association of Independent Genres, this band also launched an avant-garde artistic movement called ZveZdaZ. In 2004 the band began with the album "Tol's Toy" that could be considered quite cautious for its potentialities. Two years later, in 2006, the album “Theorist Attack” came out; it is a plait of different styles and genres that glided one into the other as a sonic matrioska in the wake of Mr. Bungle and Frank Zappa.
Won James Won is growing up:“Now you are a man. Bury your first toy and your mother’s picture". Fellini’s quotation is, this case, also a homage to Alejandro Jodorowsky's "El Topo", in particular the starting sequence: a perspective plait that immediately put this album in an everlastingly deviated and upset dimension, maybe even too disturbing. But, as I’ve previously said, this is just the beginning because this album is like a wonderful nightmare…
“История Мира (The World History)”: a hip-hop on fire dolly shot with an hysteric and hyper-talkative flow (our Uochi Toki, in comparison, are amateurs) that faces, almost nauseous, the old-skool; a sudden leap in the dark with speed-cyber-metal as the Ministry and ultra-noise super tones that smell like Space Streakings; then, the return on apocalyptic bars in the wake of Cop Shoot Cop. It’s a vocal tour de force, a stream of consciousness that, asking itself about mankind’s decadence, builds a wall of pictures that follow one another without stop as inside a cannibalistic whirl, while the “Civilization’s agony” shows that “the world history is the tale of a global failure”. The impact is contagious and destructive…You are nearly tempted to upset something.
“Красный Нетопырь (Un Pipistrello Rosso)” – with the voice of Sergei Kagadeev, ex Nom’s frontman - mixes the crepuscular light of Portishead, the rough pathos of Vladimir Vissotski in love with Scott Walker and post-metal operatic fugues.
“Промискуитет (The Promiscuity)” slips on a synth-punk full of vocal disfigurements before everything go bankrupt among stereophonic orgasms and radio inserts about masturbation and homosexuality.
Our eyes shine and the heart beats faster. Then the band remembers Chicago in “Yumiko-Chan Takes A Lesson In Harmony And Concentration”, an example of broken discords in galactic prairies where grass is made in fluorescent plastic and the butterflies smoke crack. It is obviously a different world where a “poly-dimensional cubism” triumph. The band gambles, reviving our soul. Beyond this apparent chaos there are, anyway, such an order and a reason that the song “In your arms I bleed” reveals an over structure of sensations in which Evil becomes matter for a profane chemistry. “In your arms I bleed” ends in a deep pain, after a minimal drum & bass starting and brief noise exhalations.
“Theorist Attack” proves that musical genres exist to be violated and outstripped in their limits. Give yourself a limit means to die, from an artistic point of view. I wonder why you should deny yourself wonderful mutations and alchemies as the ones in “Dawn + Dusk”, precariously posed among android digitalism, sensual romanticism, post-industrial catharsis (Nine Inch Nails), languid and emotional departures (Smashing Pumpkins) and emo upsets that freely run along fields always in bloom? And, moreover, why should you deny yourself a song as “Hot War Kid Z” starting with a wide screen swing, before catching the Atari Teenage Riot in the act of using real sounds and old Russian recorded tapes in a strange wedding between ideology and absurd reality?
I apologize with the readers for writing so much, but this album is one of those you can’t review in few lines. Try and see! “Bed For The Scraping (K.V.T.P. Solitude Capsule)” goes from a lounge-jazz beginning – after a dream about Fugazi - to epidermic soul luminescences, running after deliriums that hoist persuasive drives/beats vortexes, scattering voices inside the last, dazzling sun glimmer. Then, an insolent attack like the Who in the "Who's Next" period… and bye bye! Even though the song “Sensha Chitsu Hyouhakusha (Manda Wash Car)” prefers a Balcanic folk, it doesn’t hide a deeply cruel neurasthenia, “Pocket Atlantis Masturbo (Die Schulstubensintflut)” proceeds with post-punk vaultings, but with an “Italian” rumor (this quotation deals with Pier Paolo Pasolini’s "Teorema" and it also suggests me Lucio Battisti’s songs of the last 70s) and vile grindcore collapses among psychic soundscapes like Mr. Frankenstein and then following a funeral march, in which all of us are unaware characters.
In such a challenge of progressive fervours, this album reveals our being a “sign without meaning”: punk-pop and ambient science fiction sceneries (“Please Be With Me - La Chambre de Jasmen”), Southern intro that announce heart-broken downtempo (“Третий Рерих - The Third Rerich”), hard & heavy spasms (“John The Millimeterone”) and an electro ballad that dies with a cry hiding a mocking sneer (“555 In A Semester E.T. Ego In Arcadia”).
A demoniac “assembling of attractions”…
A real masterpiece.