Music News

Kultur Shock

When it comes to choosing album names, Seattle's Kultur Shock doesn't have the best timing. Its first studio full-length dropped in September 2001. The name? FUCC the I.N.S. Brilliant — especially when the band's composed mostly of immigrants. Similarly, now that Middle America's got its panties in a bunch over the immigration issue, Kultur Shock has a new album, We Came to Take Your Jobs Away. Led by Bosnian-born vocalist Gino Yevdjevic (and made up of musicians from Croatia, Japan, Bulgaria, and the U.S.), Kultur Shock is what you'd get if you ran the Pogues through an Eastern European blender, adding a dose of humor and American prog-metal for extra flavor. From the album's upbeat, scene-setting opener, "God Is Busy," to straight-up goofs like "Gino Loves You" (think "Jesus Loves You") and the Middle Eastern-sounding "Hashishi," Kultur Shock's multicultural, multigenre influences are as obvious as their accents. However, Yevdjevic's accent isn't as apparent as his influences. His gruff, quirky vocals most often fall somewhere between Frank Zappa and Tom Waits — very oddball, indeed. Kultur Shock's latest album may not take the jobs of any American bands, but at the very least, it should win over some of their fans.

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Jason Budjinski