Despite their name, the Soviettes aren't ambassadors of anything communist, Stalinist or even old-world Russian. Perhaps the only parallel between the band and the U.S.S.R. is their shared stagnation. In fact, it seems abundantly clear that the group should've taken a few more cigarette breaks to come up with some new material for LP III
; the album sounds like a continuation of the previous album, LP II
, rather than a new creation in its own right. III
is feisty, however. As on other albums, all four members -- three women and one lonesome young man -- sing lead and backup vocals over a tough mix of riot-grrl and pop-punk. The dragging basslines and overt tribute to all-night partying in "(Do) The Stagger" make it a fun, bounce-along song, while the Minnesota Roller Girls come out of the rink to provide cameo shouts and threats in III
's standout tune, the aptly titled "Roller Girls." Plus, the combo of in-your-face femme yells and (not too) nasally male vocals on "How Do You Like That" are forces that could have empowered true Soviets -- if only the Kremlin would have allowed it.