Published July 29, 2008
Whilst Gogol Bordello seem to have the international monopoly on high-energy folk, using what might be described as a cynical find-a-niche-and-play-up-to-it approach, Stórsveit Nix Noltes have taken a less obvious route with their debut album. They rely heavily on traditional Balkan folk music in its purest form with staccato scatterings of brass matched by a strings and a rampant accordion layered over the top of other instrumentation but present no vocals. The faster numbers, which include ‘Pajdusko’ and, best of all, ‘Kopanista’, are frenetic in the extreme and border on musical confusion, but just rein back the tide of noise before it becomes too much for anyone outside of a vodka-laden wedding party to comprehend. It’s a difficult record to listen to as most will have few points of reference to help acquaint themselves with the unique attitude the band convey but anyone who takes the time with Royal Family Divorce will be richly rewarded
- THE VERDICT Lively, dense instrumental folk that bears little comparison to much else this side of the Balkans. A fine album once the individual tracks become familiar..