Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Polka Floyd Show

A covers CD showed up on my doorstep last week: The Polka Floyd Show. The name says it all, Pink Floyd done in a polka style, but don't let that scare you. I think the accordion gets a bad rap as a joke or novelty instrument, but I think it's severely underrated and in the right hands the accordion can definitely rock. Moxy Früvous's Darlington Darling was probably the first time I actually wished I could play the accordion. Of course, I'm a huge fan of Weird Al who partly contributes to the nerd aspect of the instrument and Captain Tractor is another band that made me a staunch accordion supporter. In fact, The Polka Floyd Show reminds of most of Captain Tractor for their ability to seamlessly incorporate the accordion into a rock setting. They've got the accordion and the oom-pah, but they still have growling vocals and some shredding guitar solos.

The great thing about tribute bands like Hayseed Dixie (bluegrass AC/DC), Dread Zeppelin (Elvis reggae Zeppelin), and now The Polka Floyd Show is the clear passion of these bands for the original artists. Translating the songs into their own distinct style, they will replicate nuances of even the lesser known tracks, which speaks to a devotion and close reading that's atypical of your average cover. By that same token, if you're just a casual Pink Floyd fan you might not be inclined to pick this CD up, but you'd be missing out. Honestly I only knew three of the covers, though I'm still digging the rest of the album.

Track listing:
1. See Emily Play
2. One of These Days...
3. Breathe/Time
4. Have a Cigar
5. Pigs on the Wing
6. Hey You
7. Outside the Wall

It's a testament to the quality of The Polka Floyd Show that I'll repeatedly cue up their cover of Breathe/Time, a 10-minute opus that's the clear highlight of the album. The band is clearly having fun with these covers (they cheekily alter a famous line to "Desperation is the Polish way..."), but it's never a joke. They like to rock and don't mind bringing the accordion along to rock too.

Check their official site, order from CD Baby (only $10!), and check their myspace page for non-album covers of Another Brick in the Wall and Us & Them. I hope to hear more in the future from The Polka Floyd... a polka In the Flesh? or Shine On You Crazy Diamond perhaps?

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