[sic] Magazine

First Glances – Raskolnikov

Raskolnikov are a Franco/Swiss three-piece band whose output spans post-punk, darkwave and shoegaze. The trio met and founded the band in Geneva in 2015, taking their name from Dostojevski’s Crime and Punishment. Now operating out of Constance (Germany) and Paris, Raskolnikov aim to imbue their music with similarly socio-psychological and moral-philosophical content to the classic novel. The group consists of Mathieu Pawełski-Szpiechowycz (bass guitar / vocals), Pablo Garrido (guitar / keyboards) and Jérôme Blum (drums). They cite Joy Division, The Cure and Bauhaus among their influences and I’m pretty sure fans of those revered acts will certainly appreciate the references. Yet, refreshingly, Raskolnikov avoid sounding like a facsimile of any band, however legendary. They released their debut, Hochmut kommt vor dem Fall in 2017 and the mini album garnered both media praise and a cult following.

Unsurprisingly there’s a doom-laden quality to the music and lyrics of Raskolnikov. (If not doom, then certainly a world weary sadness.) Crucially the band wrap their melancholia with chiming melodies. Latest album Lazy people will destroy you is proof positive that these guys have tunes. There’s a richness too to their output, a lustre that many other coldwave bands often fail to conjure. This velvet sheen in addition to the groups hypnotic rhythms offers a lot of personality. Indeed this trio bring such power and energy to their recordings that I’m dying to see them in a live setting. I’m put in mind of Interpol on occasions but Raskolnikov are sharp to remind us that the original Interpol was always European. Hopefully they’ll come to Belgium sometime soon. I have the impression they are only at the beginning of their journey. What possibilities await?

Darkly seductive.

Lazy people will destroy you is out now on Manic Depression Records via the website and bandcamp links provided. Mathieu photograph by C. Kritharas-Devienne. Band photo by Yoann Schott. With kind permission from Raskolnikov social media and not for re-use.

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