Pussy Riot: The Russian punk band calling for a revolution

August 1, 2012

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For a band that has recorded only about five songs, Russia’s Pussy Riot is sure getting lots of attention — but not for their music. Earlier this week members of band pleaded not guilty to charges of hooliganism. The women face up to seven years in prison for an unsanctioned performance in February, in which they entered Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral, ascended the altar and called on the Virgin Mary to "throw Putin out!" The case has put an international spotlight on Vladimir Putin’s treatment of dissent.  

Pussy Riot’s music has a typical punk rock sound: thumping bass, over powered drums and guitar. But they also include lots of performance art and impromptu gigs as a method of political protest. The collective of young women take their musical cue from riot grrl, the '90s musical genre made famous by bands like Bikini Kill that addressed rape, domestic abuse, racism and patriarchy. Here's the offending song, "Virgin Mary." The band "prays" to the Virgin to throw Putin our of office:

While some of the lyrics are considered obscene, it’s punk rock at its best; rattling the establishment. And while the average Russian may be turned off by the music itself, a poll suggests they support the message and are turning up their noses to the trial.