Pet'o Joch (guitar/vocals), Casey Irwin (clarinet/sax), Ian Esquivel (drums), Owen Burgess (bass/guitar/vocals) and Justin Malecki (keysk/melodica) are Total Gadjos and play post punk gypsy-inspired indie folk. This description feels quite accurate as I was listening to their three-song EP entitled Arcadiate!.
The main songwriter for the band Pet'o Joch formed this unique hybrid of sounds. He has a voice that works with this type of music. You can hear traces of a Slavic accent and it adds to the general vibe of the music.
The band has said they sound like Nick Cave backed up by Gogol Bordello. I’d have to agree but the band certainly seems to have an original vibe they I was able to feel after the three songs.
They open with “Arcadiate!” which is a fun, fast song. It has such a festive vibe you could imagine it being played at a wedding. People would get out of their chairs and start dancing. I have to say the instrumentation was a treat. I especially enjoyed the clarinet, not an instrument you hear too often in a band. The song is also quite dynamic with sections that briefly slow down only to be picked back up again. Great opener.
Up next is “Traiskirchen (Puke Song).” At six-and-a-half-minutes long the song justifies the long length with a section in the middle where the song almost fades out completely. I wish I had a lyric sheet. Did he say “windows are puking into atmosphere?” Not sure but the lyrics seems absurd in a good way.
They close with another success called “Clandestine and Free.” This song is arguably the highlight. The instrumental work is really pretty fantastic, I enjoyed how multiple melodic lines interweaved with each other. The vibe is upbeat but might be a little hard to dance to because of the time changes in the song.
This whole EP is about fifteen minutes long and I thought each song deserves two thumbs up. Sometimes I complain about musicians not sounding original. One thing you can say about this band is that they have a unique sound. That’s a good thing.
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