Since their formation back in 2013, the Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia-based post-punk trio PLOHO have firmly established themselves as one of most prominent purveyors of a contemporary, new wave of Russian music. Inspired by late Soviet era acts like Kino and Joy Division, the Siberian act’s sound and approach evokes the bitter cold of their homeland.
Throughout their run together, PLOHO has managed to be very busy: they’ve released five albums, several EPs and over 10 singles, which they’ve supported with multiple tours across Europe with stops at over 40 cities. Building upon a growing profile, the band has made appearances at several prominent festivals including Боль in Russia, Kalabalik in Sweden, and Platforma in Lithuania. Naturally, all of that touring has helped the Russian post-punk trio develop a fanbase across Europe. They’ve also collaborated with Belarusian act Molchat Doma on 2019’s “Along the Edge of the Island.”
Artoffact Records released the Siberian trio’s fifth album, Фантомные Чувства (Phantom Feelings) earlier this year. In the lead-up to the album’s release, I wrote about “Танцы в темноте (“Dancing in the Dark”), a nostalgia-inducing, dance floor friendly bop featuring reverb-drenched guitars, shimmering synth arpeggios, a motorik groove and rousingly anthemic hooks paired with lyrics delivered in a seemingly ironically detached Russian.
The Russian post-punk trio just announced an extensive European and UK tour to support the new album. For my European and British friends, those tour dates will be below — as always. But in the meantime, the Siberian post punk outfit’s latest single “Нулевые” (in Cyrillic) or “Nulevyye” (in Latin)” off the new album continues a run of bracingly chilly 4AD Records-like post punk. Centered around frontman Victor Ujakov’s sonorous baritone, shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars, skittering four-on-the-floor, a relentless motoik groove and an enormous hook, “Nulevyye” is yet another dance floor friendly bop.
Directerd by Sergey Pavlov, the recently released video for “Nulevvye” explores a day and night on the town gone horribly wrong between two generations — an irresponsible, loud, n’er-do-well uncle and an awkward, teenaged nephew trying to find himself. You don’t have to understand Russian to see the disgust and loathing that the nephew has for his uncle. In fact, it’s obvious that the nephew sees his uncle as a horrible intrusion into his own life. There’s the expected battle of wills and the assertion of each other’s masculinity, but at points, there’s even begrudging understanding and acceptance with the nephew and his crew of friends hanging out with the uncle, drinking and goofing off. The chronology of the video is mind-bending but it ends with an a bizarre and unsettling act of violence.
“The problem of generations, the problems of fathers and children — this topic is familiar to everyone,” PLOHO’s frontman Victor Ujakov explains. “The endless pursuit of the passing of youth and the panicked fear of growing up. This is what our new music video is about.”