After releasing a steady stream of recordings in the early and mid-nineties PöLKA is only the Shanes’ second release since 1996’s collaboration with the Hungarian group Vezerkar. That’s a shame because they excel in merging Eastern European folk music with punk rock. Their hard driving rhythms coupled with the omnipresent accordion and fiddle have been accentuated more noticeably this time with crunchy electric guitar, and their occasional meanderings into French, Irish and American country music prevent them from falling into predictability. Sung almost entirely in English their songwriting too often seems dependant on linking rhyming words than presenting a deeper lyrical thought. But that’s a minor complaint. After all precious few bands are actually as cerebral and informed as they would have you believe. So the Shanes’ lyrical deficiencies are easily overlooked because their music is so exceptional.
Review By: Dave Sleger