“We wonder why words don’t make sense – I think we’ve been speaking a dead language.”
These are words that Josh Perna – vocalist of The Soviet – chants on the title track of his band’s upcoming EP, Dead Language, due out June 4th. But unlike any forgotten dialect or lost tongue, the music of The Soviet translates loud and true. With ambitious guitars soaring over driving basslines and thunderous drums, this undiscovered gem of an indie rock quartet hailing from northwest NJ has created a handful of songs that will unquestionably place them in the midst of the music industry’s most-buzzed-about bands list.
A project that started only 18 months ago, The Soviet took shape as lifelong friends Perna (vocals / rhythm guitar) and Aaron Brown (lead guitar) decided to form a band together. When Perna went on a trip to Central America via a local youth group shortly thereafter, he made a close connection with fellow traveler Alex Long who was then brought in on bass. When the two returned stateside, longtime acquaintance Kevin Boris (drums) was recruited to round out the group. Impressive demo recordings soon followed; these included the song “Monotony” and its accompanying music video which in one day alone garnered over 60,000 views on YouTube and a front page highlight on Reddit.
In addition to developing a passionate local fanbase, The Soviet also scored high-profile gigs opening for the likes of artists such as Anberlin, Andrew McMahon, and twenty | one | pilots – plus a slot on the 2013 Idobi Meltdown Festival outside of Washington D.C. where they supported Circa Survive and Minus The Bear.
In early 2013, Perna began crafting the instrumentation and lyrics that would eventually form the band’s first true studio recording – Dead Language. From intimate writing sessions in the New Jersey farmhouse where The Soviet maintains its home base, the band began to flesh out the songs bit by bit. Seeking out a like-minded producer, the band was introduced to Greg Dunn. Although mainly known as the vocalist and guitarist for Triple Crown Records artists Moving Mountains, Dunn is also an accomplished producer with several albums to his credit, including those from his own band. “There was a definite musical chemistry between Greg and the band,” says Perna. “He has such a strong background in atmospheric and high energy music, ideas were constantly flying around and it was a really fresh collaborative effort.”
The recording sessions – set at Telegraph Studios in Poughkeepsie, NY – resulted in the four song Dead Language EP. The tracks showcase a band traversing along the line from youth to maturity. With all band members under the age of 20, the playfulness of Perna’s lyrics somehow relay a youthful vibrance while Brown’s penetrating guitar hooks impart a deep sense of understanding far more complex than musicians of his age should be able to display. This musical combination, along with the band’s overall energy and Dunn’s production wizardry, lifts The Soviet and the Dead Language EP into heights rarely seen from a band that is unsigned and under the radar. That being said, once these new songs are out in the open, few expect The Soviet to fit into those categories for very much longer.