Liverpool, San Francisco, Nashville, Seattle: Some cities are writ large in pop music forever. If it has twenty more musicians like Anton Serov, the next one could be Tomsk, Russia.
Anton and his band, Two Chords, whose self-produced debut EP was released this month, are Siberians from the far reaches of the Russian Federation, living closer to Mongolia than mainland Europe. Winters bring twenty-below-zero temperatures and the band travel hundreds of miles between gigs.
Maybe it's not surprising that this icy crucible of a place has forged Two Chords into a formidable rock unit. 'Break Through', the first song on the Y Should I Care EP, is a testament to the sometimes unforgiving life of the determined rock musician. "This is the message for everyone who dreams to make something in his life," says lead singer and songwriter Anton. "The message is simple - keep doing, don't look around, don't listen to those who are interested in seeing you lose."
Anton writes and sings in English, making Two Chords' music accessible to Western listeners. The band say that the Internet has enlightened people in Siberia to great rock 'n' roll music from all over the world. This globalisation of music makes Tomsk just as likely to be the origin of the next great rock band as New York or London.
Anton is joined by three Tomsk natives, drummer Yuri Kustov, bassist Yuri Latipov and guitarist Denis Ivashkov. The band's style is a clever amalgam of opposing elements. They deftly weave together the heavy riffing of their rhythm section and flashy, melodic lead guitars. The band are also known for their versatility with different performance styles, playing both raging electric concerts and intimate acoustic gigs.
The other two tracks on Two Chords' EP fit in with the band's plan to make simple songs that rock. 'Y Should I Care' is a funny rant about a certain youth fashion afflicting Russia as much as everywhere else. "This is about a young girl who trying to act like someone she is not," Anton says. "Being so impressed with those photos of Suicide Girls she forgot how to be yourself." 'Promises We've Made' is a more emotional number, also based on personal experience. The song is about how the end of a passionate relationship leaves you barely on speaking terms with someone with whom you were once incredibly close.
Two Chords are currently working on material for their first full-length album, but if you want to get with this rising force in rock from the very beginning, check out the Y Should I Care EP on their Myspace, Facebook or web pages.
Retail stores where it is available for purchase (both off & on-line):
Last FM: http://www.last.fm/music/Two+Chords/Y+Should+I+Care