Tuesday, April 22, 2008

CD Review: The Polka Floyd Show

The Polka Floyd Show is just the kind of music we love here at NeverEndingWonder Radio - completely unclassifiable. It is simply exactly what it sounds like- 7 Pink Floyd songs played as polkas. If you're expecting a comedic accordion rave up ala Weird Al, though, you'll be disappointed. This is an accomplished high octane rock band, with an accordion, playing in the 2/4 beat of polka music. Though it is energetic good fun it's not exactly played for laughs. Well, not COMPLETELY for laughs.

Their rendition of "One of These Days" is a case in point. It starts off as a straightforward tribute to Floyd with the eerie wind noises and the bass notes. It's pure Floyd until the accordion comes in and gives it an off kilter quality that takes it in another direction briefly, and then suddenly they're back with a searing guitar lead that really takes the song into high gear. Yet, in the background there's that polka beat.... and it WORKS! They even manage to incorporate a snippet of a riff from the Wizard of Oz score.

Perhaps my favorite song is their reading of "Hey You." It starts off simply, evoking a simple European folk melody with plaintive vocals and the subtle accordion work of Eric Hite. But soon enough the band is there rocking out, taking it just to the edge - then pulling back, and there's that rollicking polka beat. Once again it works marvelously

Their magnum opus is a ten minute version of Breathe/Time that simultaneously leaves you in awe of this band's ability to rock out in the best classic rock tradition AND make you walk to get up and do a polka. Astounding! I think they've created a new genre of music- Rock Polka. The Polka Floyd Show hails from Toledo- and where else could something like this happen?

Guitarist & vocalist Ken Haas keeps the band reaching for rock Heaven while accordionist Eric Hite makes everything dance. Bass player Chris Zielinski, drummer Frank Dramczyk and keyboard player Penny Haas all contribute their considerable talents making this a band that stands up in its own right. I'd listen to them play ANYTHING- but when it's Pink Floyd's classic songs played polka style that's something just beautiful.

My only minor quibble with this release is that it focuses almost entirely on Roger Waters compositions. There is one Syd Barrett song, but maybe in the future they could try their hand at Saucerful of Secrets or Comfortably Numb. This is a minor complaint, however. This release shines.

Band website:
The Polka Floyd Show

The Polka Floyd Show can be heard on NeverEndingWonder Radio

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