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N.O.M., the abbreviation initially interpreted as ‘Neformal'noye Obyedineniye Molodezhi' (Informal Society of Youth), is one of the lesser-known pioneers of Russian alternative music. Their unique style…
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N.O.M., the abbreviation initially interpreted as ‘Neformal'noye Obyedineniye Molodezhi' (Informal Society of Youth), is one of the lesser-known pioneers of Russian alternative music. Their unique style and stage presence earned them a reputation of founders of a new genre -- "ironic rock". Nonsensical realities of the everyday life in the Soviet Union were projected into the loud, choppy sound and vocals ranging from opera bass to the high-pitched screams and whispers. For them, music defined the lifestyle and the lifestyle created music -- this is why their members are known by their funny-sounding alias and the words that come to mind while listening to their music are "circus", "carnival", "absurd" and "burlesque". The band debuted in February of 1987 with vocalist Sergey Kagadeev (aka Khafizulla Edinbekovitch Sagitdulov), bassist Andrey Kagadeev (aka Khafizulla Uslanbairovitch Sagitdulov), another vocalist and stage performer Yuri Saltykov (aka Ivan Tourist), drummer and flutist Nikolai Rodionov, keyboardist Dmitri Tikhonov (aka Alexander Liver) and guitarist Sergey Butuzov. Despite their raw sound reminiscent of Russian folk topical songs with racy lyrics, their energy and originality allowed them to enter Leningrad Rock Club in 1988. N.O.M.'s sound quickly became more coherent, shifting from folk and cabaret influences towards post-punk and rhythm-and-blues. In October 1988 the band got a new drummer -- Rodionov was replaced by Vladimir Postnichenko (aka Gothlib Tuzeast). After the first European tour in 1990 Sergei Butuzov left the band. He was temporarily replaced by Alexey Rahov of AVIA, which was on hiatus at the time. In 1996, as he went back to playing with AVIA, N.O.M. invited Vitaliy Lapin to be their guitarist. Tikhonov, who began pursuing his acting and opera singing career in the 1990's, finally left the band in 1995. His place during European tours took Yuri Sobolev and Ivan Sokolovski.

In 1997 the band suddenly split into two different projects sharing the same name. To avoid confusion, one of them was called N.O.M.-ZHIR (N.O.M.-FAT) and included Andrey Kagadeev and Yuri Saltykov, and the other, known as N.O.M.-EVRO (N.O.M.-EURO) consisted of Sergey Kagadeev, Lapin and Postnichenko joined by Nikolai Maiorov. Both projects co-existed peacefully, creating music as well as other media projects. For their 20th anniversary concerts musicians from both parts of N.O.M. performed together on same stage.