Russkaja fuses Ska, Polka, Jazz, and Thrash Metal to create “Russian Turbo Polka Metal.” It has existed since the mid 2000’s, and now graces Napalm Records with the band’s third album, Energia! The group is known for having plenty of fun, high energy tracks, and that goal is pretty obvious on this release. Unfortunately some songs end up a bit hollow due to the simpler chords common to Ska, making Russkaja out to be better live, something their past dates and festival appearances help to establish. But, there are some worth hearing.
“Energia” is a pretty catchy mid-paced offering thanks largely to the subtle bass, and the brief Metal elements in the chorus feel right at home. “Autodrom” ends up a stark contrast, having faster music that focuses more on the cleaner riffs and “Potete” (a trumpet/trombone hybrid instrument) after a heavier start. “Istanbul” ends up a more emotional piece, having a subtle, yet infectious beat with a soothing performance that captures a middle eastern atmosphere surprisingly well. There’s also “Sorry,” a slow, depressing track that truly feels heartfelt and wraps up the album in a way you didn’t expect. Energia! is worth a sampling for these tracks alone, but, despite being fun and upbeat, this is still a highly niche album that some will definitely enjoy more than others.