EP REVIEW: ZUNAME- ‘Pipes Not Dead’ (2015)

Furious fast paced punk rock with bagpipes from Moscow.

Zuname- 'Pipes Not Dead' (2105)

The recent years have seen celtic-punk music pop up in very odd places that you wouldn’t imagine and it’s also true that it’s in some of these places that the celtic-punk scene is at its strongest. Russia may not spring to mind when you mention celtic-punk and this time last year I would have been in total agreement. Then I heard the fantastic Middle Class Bastards from St.Petersburg who romped away with the Best EP Of 2014 here and the absolutely brilliant compilation ‘Ex-USSR Tribute To The Dropkick Murphys’ which we reviewed here and also featured the band we are covering today Zuname from Moscow.

This is the fifth release from Zuname, three full albums and an EP have come before this their latest EP, ‘Pipes Not Dead’ and for anyone new to them they are in for a real treat. One of the earliest bands in Russia playing celtic music Zuname have pretty much influenced everyone that has come since and you can certainly see why on this recording.

Zuname band

Zuname left to right: Vadim – guitar, voxAndy – bagpipes, vox, Yarosh – guitar, vox, Santey – bass, vox, Simon – drums

Right from the off you get thrashy guitars, expertly played bagpipes and throaty rasping vocals. ‘Moscow’ begins this class EP and lets you know exactly where you’re standing. Band theme tune ‘Zuname’ is up next and is all over in just 90 seconds and is more of the same. Fast and furious and not unlike Middle Class Bastards in their approach to celtic-punk. The emphasis is on the punkier side of things but plenty here, if you got an open mind that is!, for your more folkier fans too. If most celtic-punk  bands aspire to be a combination of The Clash and The Dubliners then Zuname are more like a cross between The Exploited and Silly Wizard!!

‘Freedom’ is for me the standout track on the EP and shows that there is a lot more to Zuname than just just thrashing out. A real catchy tune with great piping and some fantastic vocals. With celtic-punk it’s sometimes those pint in the air moments that catch your attention and ‘Pipes Not Dead’ comes with plenty. ‘Music From The Heart’ is another classic and finally ‘Pirate Song’ brings the EP to a close with a modern day sea shanty that sails close to metal in places but we’ll not hold that against them! Over sixteen minutes long ‘Pipes Not Dead’ is also that rare creature in that it is a celtic-punk record that is not sung in English. We are anything but imperialist here at London Celtic Punks so it matters nothing to us what language bands sing in. Obviously for most bands to make any impact outside their home countries it’s understandable why bands would choose to sing in English but speaking for myself I would prefer it that bands sang in their native tongue BUT I also know that a lot of celtic-punk fans are fickle and sadly won’t give bands like Zuname a chance because of that.

Zuname logo

The EP was recorded thanks to three Russian DIY labels,including the bands own, Gigant Records, Distemper Records and Zuname Records and was produced by Denis Ivanov. Overall this album will greatly appeal to all fans of bagpipes in music and if you’re a fan of the popular Czech band Pipes And Pints then you will absolutely love this. Often the music in celtic-punk does struggle to get over the punk line in the sand but Zuname have no trouble and if it’s fast as hell, tuneful but hard punk rock with bagpipes that you like then you are going to love being a fan of these. The majority of their previous records are available for only a measly $1 or $2 only and even this their latest can be bought for just a single dollar… yes a single dollar it’s true! Bands like this deserve the fame and acclaim that normally gets heaped onto north American bands when all they have to do is pick up a mandolin let alone play it. I often find myself telling you to take a chance and step out of your comfort zone and try something new so let this month you check out the Russian band Zuname and I am even prepared to give them the London Celtic Punks seal of approval!

(you can listen to ‘Pipes Not Dead’ by simply clicking play on the Bandcamp player below)

Buy The EP

FromTheBand  iTunes

Contact The Band

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