MiG Music 2022
From the USSR into the great wide open and back again: Georgian artist returns home to express his experiences in the most wondrous way.
Not a lot of not-too-well known musicians can put the names of Ahmet Ertegun, Youth and Ian McNabb on their résumé, but Nash Albert has all these credits on his oeuvre, so there’s not a lot of things the veteran would deem impossible. The former frontman of the Soviet ensemble SALAMANDRA which relocated to America at the end of Perestroika, and of Moscow’s BLAST which saw some success in England, went solo with “Rude Beggar” in 2015, although it wasn’t before four more years had passed that he came back to Caucasia to lay down, in the company of old friends, this album – and another two years to let “Yet” reach the masses. Whether the masses are ready to embrace such an unusual creature should leave no doubt because, for all the strange turns of the record, there’s something for everyone who finds a bit of delicate quirkiness to seem spicy.
Pulled into the platter by a child’s voice whose fragile song will be broken once fierce drums burst to start “Kill The Fear” and Albert’s pipes throw funk all over the place only to resolve the aural assault in an alluring vaudeville number – asking, repeatedly and more and more intensely, “I wanna love you. Does it make any sense?” in a rather endearing manner – the listener is bound to like these piece’s multifaceted, cinematically optimistic, tuneful tumult. Rock riffs raging and piano splashing pop passages on the lyrical canvas, Nash sets the sense of urgency amidst the effervescent pulse of “Lost In Jerusalem” – once the flute-flaunting “Betting On My Fate” has crushed the wall of sound via insistent ivories which pick up where “Road To Hell” left off – with Gia Tavkhelidze and Mindo Gabashvili’s mighty groove complementing Irakli Sanaia’s guitars in the track’s its Eastern buzz and chant.
However, the record’s is derailed from its serious route when “Monkey Blues” deliberately goes the way of creating a kind of “Subterranean Homesick Fame & Fashion” by marrying the manners of old guard best referred to as BD and DB and putting a six-string twang to the fore, while slider and brass washing over “Love To Reset” quite victoriously, and the desperate “Cocaine Hangover” drenches vocals in retrofuturistic effects to release the sonic grip for infectious “these days are free” refrain. So if the gloomy “I Won’t Look Back” and “Autumn Rain” offer a vibrant reflection, “Sunrise” streams romantic luminosity through shoegaze, whereas “Marabella” takes one’s acoustic nostalgia to a smoky club. Still, the finale “…And Yet” feels eternal, leading the album’s twists to a hope-infused catharsis – the sort of soul-cleansing an old friend’s visit may bring.
An unexpected but gratifying personal triumph, “Yet” is a sophisticated and precious work.