July 30, 2006


Soviet’s debut sounds very much like the year 1982. Albums like OMD’s Organisation and Depeche Mode’s Speak and Spell are obvious reference points for this material. You know the deal, there are keyboards and lots of them. Most likely, there’s a drum machine accompanying the proceedings with perfect rhythm. There’s a guy up front crooning (though he could just as easily be speaking) revelatory and personal lyrics to this cold backdrop.

So is the album a mere rehash of things past? Not at all. The synthesized tones age remarkably well, and aren’t at all intrusive. Besides, each song stands out wonderfully, with strong hooks and memorable content. After one listen, you are falling over yourself to hit the play button again in a vain attempt to connect those memorable melodies newly floating in your head.

The song “Commute” is a wonderful example. Opening synths push us right onto the dance floor, surrounding us and mutating before us. A voice comes in behind the beat and informs us ‘we must commute’; singer Keith Ruggiero echoes the statement an instant later. Painting us a picture of a man lost among countless peers, powerless “divided we stand / united we fall”, his clever reversal celebrating the individuality he longs for. His voice falls back, surrounded by spacier keyboards than before. His musings are nearly inaudible, but you can hear something about “the road less traveled” in there.

Also excellent is the rolling “Lonely Days”. Galloping drums and airy synths lead us to the singer sitting alone. “Here in my room, I sit alone and stare at pictures I never thought would cause me such pain”. He pines for his lost love, “Have we done something wonderfully horrible?” He describes a reluctant relationship that preceded this heartbreak. The song builds up as the narrator comes to a nebulous conclusion. “There will always be a place in my heart for you” he intones quietly, though it comes across as a scream.

We are Eyes, We are Builders is a great album. Songs don’t sound out of date, they sound like a group that has listened to a lot of synth-pop and has decided to make something out of that. Put Dave Gahan in there, it could have been a great Depeche Mode album. Not that Soviet are a Depeche Mode rip-off band, they are contemporaries that have recorded their debut album a few decades later.

Tyler Martin

Similar artist : OMD


Audio Sample : 90 seconds


One comment

  1. Soviet not is christian band!

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