Hmm, the 2nd day in two days I've received suggestions back with the wrong names - they must be busy at dooyoo headquarters!
If you don't know much about Kultur Shock, they are a band from Seattle made up of singer, trumpet, tarabuka player and all-round mad man Srdan Jevdevic (aka. Gino Banana) from Sarajevo, guitarist/bazouki player Mario Butkovic also from Bosnia, Masashi Kobayashi - the silent bassist from Japan, Val Kiossovski - guitarist and second singer from Bulgaria, Christopher Stromquist - the swedish american drummer and Matty Noble on Violin.
They play a mixture of balkan-jazz/punk/metal, scream, sing gently, talk and do whatever they want really. They are currently touring Europe and started back in 1996 when as the singer said (from wikipedia):
**It was at first an acoustic band. It started as a joke, on the party, during the jam session where the future members (in somewhat rather over-excited, party mood) made fun of their own tradition and culture (folk music from the Balkans). People liked it (!!). In summer 1997, Kultur Shock joined a long time friend, Joan Baez, on Lodo Music festival in Denver CO, as well as on some other shows on her tour.
After the tour, Kultur Shock started playing in typical acoustic venues with typical acoustic values. The personality match was less then perfect. The audience did not appreciate Kultur Shock singer's comments (and the attitude problem), Kultur Shock's singer did not appreciate the audience's eating in the middle of his performance (so his comments got more and more explicit), the waiters and stuff did not appreciate loud non-English speaking clientele (who didn't tip well) and finally police and Christian society did not appreciate girls jumping on the tables and taking their bras off, wildly screaming from the top of their lungs. Somewhat less excited (pissed off) venues kicked Kultur Shock out, not just of their venue, but the "World Music" world in general. This might be the best thing ever happened to the band. Life is never going to be the same, for both Kultur Shock and the "World Music" as we know it.
Kultur Shock plugged in and started playing punk rock clubs in Seattle. The music changed a bit. Band's attitude problem wasn't a problem any more. New in the area, Kultur Shock did it the old fashion way (at first Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and finally weekends). Kultur Shock self-released the first album Live In Amerika. Album is recorded live at The Crocodile in 1999.**
The album is entitled "We came to take your jobs away" and the cover shows an immigrant with a bog brush in hands and a cigarette in his mouth.
It's Kultur Shock's 4th album.
1 - God is busy, may I help you
A balkan classic with an oriental feeling to it and a turkish/gypsy crooning to it, interspersed with the occasional heavy metal riff and heavy punk carnival style drumming throughout. A bit thin on lyrics but apart from that, a good start.
And you know, I will trade your soul for mine,
Freedom doesn't cost a dime,
Don't waste your time, religion is crime,
I can make your problems go away right now
'cause God is Busy, may I help you?
2 - Tango la victoire
Starts off with violins and sad singing in a "I'm a french bloke and I'm singing" style which is followed up by a bit of spanish style punk, then metal riffs and balkan singing, it's complete anarchy really. Picture a Spanish punk band playing in a small bar in Serbia with Tony Iommi on guitar and Dale Winton flying around on a shopping trolley and you have some idea of what the song sounds like!
Good fun but a bit too everywhere 6/10
3 - Duna
Burst of balkan folk + metal with quiet jazzy parts with Borat vocals about a girl from Sofia who wants a prince. Hillarious and quality.
4 - Zumbul
Often touted as the best song on the album, imagine it starting off like Dire Straits stuck in a Turkish bath with Ferus Mustafov, this track is full of emotion and gets generally more progressive with Slayer joining them in the turkish bath around the 3.30 mark only for Nigel Kennedy to bring them a towel in, of course it's the wrong colour and they proceed to battle it out with guitar and violin solos. Wicked song.
5 - Gino Loves You
Punky balkan about singer Gino loving someone because the bible told him so, kind of jokey track but it's still hard to figure what's going on. The song rocks on though
6 - Istanbul
Pretty decent balad with great music, a complete anthem despite not knowing a great deal of what he's on about.
7 - Poor Man's Tango
A balkan jazz song with bursts of heavy metal about in which level of life immigrants in USA are expected to stay at and about trying to break out of it. Class 9/10
8 - Nano Mi Hermano
This is Kultur Shock in their rawest form, another top song
9 - Sarajevo
A modern rock n roll classic about two of the band members home town, a mixture of folk and growling howling vocals about Sarajevo. The music is tight and well fused together.
10 - Hashishi
Kultur Shock are known for their hashish and marijuana references and so perhaps it's quite apt that one of longest songs on the album is a little progressive ditty full of madness dedicated to their favourite drug. The way the song carries on anyone would think that "Hashishi" was a Balkan warrior! By the end of the song, you feel like you've been accepted into a native american brotherhood!
It's a pretty damn good album, one of the best in recent years but I preferred their Kultura Diktatura album. For those who didn't quite catch the idea of my description, it sounds a bit like System of a Down in a hospital for the insane fused with Balkan folk music.
This review was also reproduced on my website: http://www.musicneverdied.com
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 God Is Busy (May I Help You)
2 Tango La Victoria
5 Gino Loves Me
7 Poor Man
8 Mano Mi Hermano