By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
In today's pop music landscape, bands that release more than four or five albums are applauded for their persistence and ability to stretch their particular genre. But Brave Combo puts all of those other acts to shame. Kikiriki, the band's 25th studio album, is a refreshing and fun offering from a band that knows exactly what it is—the best damn polka band in the world.
Kikiriki plays like a tour of Europe: The album's title track and opener starts off in Croatia with a Balkan-style instrumental; "Kiev Waltz" is a rainy day in Ukraine; a polka cover of The Bee Gees' "Holiday," the most recognizable song on the record, takes the band to the UK; "Big Head Polka" is a drinking song that sounds like it was written after a rough night of drinking during Germany's Oktoberfest; and "Simply" is an Eastern European techno-polka version of a 25-year-old Sara Hickman song. Meanwhile, the record's most soothing song, "Polish National Anthem," is played on an accordion accompanied by a rainstorm.
That's quite a bit of variety for a band that has been together for over 30 years.
So, how are Brave Combo's members still able to push the limits of such a narrow genre? The answer's all over Kikiriki—by having fun.