Poostosh - Herbarium

Album Review by Nick Mitchell | 18 Feb 2010
Album title: Herbarium
Artist: Poostosh
Label: Untime Records
Release date: 1 Mar


Herbarium could be a forgotten gem of eastern European cinema; a three-hour epic about one old man's day-to-day struggles in a cold, unforgiving, Communist world of bread queues, bugged apartments and concrete tower blocks. The only problem is that the film was never made, but Moscow band Poostosh seem to have composed the soundtrack anyway. Admittedly, their nationality probably influenced my stereotypical plot outline, but Herbarium certainly seems more suited to the screen than the stereo. Despite odd song titles like Information Pressure Doesn't Affect an Eagle, this is an intrumental album, most of the songs composed of eerie acoustic guitar, sad, outmoded organ refrains, plink-plonk piano and grainy, swirling feedback. And although the best soundtracks can be enjoyed in their own right (Morricone, Herrman, Carpenter et al), this cinematic non-soundtrack lacks the requisite identity, direction and style. In English 'poostosh' means 'uncultivated plot or heath' - this is one band who could benefit from the secateur treatment. [Nick Mitchell]