In Review: Molchat Doma - 'Discoteque'
It’s October 2020. A plague is raging, hate crimes are on the rise, and the most radio-played disco-themed tune is by Sophie Ellis-Bexter. At least one of these situations can be instantly improved: enter Belarusian new-wave/synth-pop/post-punk/cold-wave/Russian doomers Molchat Doma, with their new track ‘Discoteque’ from upcoming album Monument.
The band went viral in early May due to TikTokers using their music as a dour soundtrack to their fast-action wardrobe changes, and if none of that makes sense, well, that’s TikTok for you. But it catapulted the band into public consciousness and stoked a peculiar fire under the bottoms of bored teenagers everywhere, who suddenly seemed to yearn for the romanticised bleakness of 1980’s Soviet Russia.
The band themselves define 'Discoteque' as “a kind of answer to ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ by Depeche Mode”, and it is positively upbeat compared to the band’s earlier offerings. According to my understanding via Google Translate, the lyrics encourage us to “dance like a God under the starry sky of love”, and this is a tune you can really dance to, inviting comparisons to The Cure and New Order.
The accompanying video, described by its director as “totalitarian disco”, features bronzes and busts of moustachioed ideologues lit by strobe lights, including a lingering shot of a child balanced on Lenin’s back – a perfect visual metaphor for today’s youth and their blossoming obsession with all things Soviet. The video finishes with a gorgeous, flashing, neon rhombicuboctahedron (yes, that’s a thing, I counted the sides and everything) bearing down over a greyed—out, Brutalist architectural wasteland, seeming to symbolise something approaching joy on the horizon. In our modern world of isolation and curfews, dancing Ian Curtis-like under the starry sky of love sounds pretty good to me – especially when the music sounds nothing like Sophie Ellis-Bexter.
Monument is out on 13th November via Sacred Bones Records.