Personnel: Konstantin "Koha" Shustarev (vocals, acoustic guitar, background vocals); Dmitriy "Mitya" Losev (guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar); Alex De Rosso (guitar); Tony Paoletta (steel guitar); Al Perkins (dobro); Vladimir Molodstov (pipe); Konstantin Koleshonok (saxophone); Iliya Sergeenko (trumpet); Anton Vishnyakov (trombone); Eric Ragno (piano, Hammond b-3 organ); Oleg "Ivanich" Bondaletov (Clavinet, keyboards); Andrey "Drunia" Kruglov (drums).
Audio Mixer: Fabrizio Grossi.
Recording information: City Studios, Welwyn Garden City, UK; DEE Production Studio, Hannover, Germany; Dobroliot Studios, Saint Petersburg, Russia; Downtown Batterie, Nashville, TN; Groove Gallery, Burbank, CA; Matt's, Beverly Hills, CA; Noize Factor, Santa Clarita, CA.
Star-studded rock albums can be a dicey affair, as quite often they can lack cohesion. But the set-up for the 2011 studio effort by Russian rockers Pushking, The World as We Love It, is an intriguing and promising one. The group is supposedly popular in their homeland, but hasn't caused a ripple elsewhere. Hence, the plan was to re-record some of the group's best tunes from their discography, with some of hard rock/heavy metal's biggest names dropping by and doing their thing (including Paul Stanley, Alice Cooper, Billy Gibbons, Steve Vai, Glenn Hughes, etc.). It turns out that the style of rock that Pushking specialize in is that of the commercial/mainstream variety, with an unmistakable '80s flair. After an annoying 15-second intro/screamfest (imaginatively titled "Intro"), we're treated to what may be the best track on the whole album, a blues-pop workout that features Gibbons on vocals and guitar, "Nightrider." But the majority of the selections here are highly commercial attempts at radio acceptance (that is, if these tunes were released in 1988), as evidenced by "I Believe" and "I Love You." And to title a tune "Heroin" and not have it be a reading of the Velvet Underground classic is a bit of an ill-advised move (what's next, borrowing the title "Blitzkrieg Bop" for a new composition?). For fans of rockers of the early 21st century who still greatly admire the big '80s, Pushking's World as We Love It contains all the bombast and studio gloss you could possibly want. ~ Greg Prato