Kultur Shock

We Came to Take Your Jobs Away

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The immigrant's story -- America is built on these tales of hardship and hard work, of flights from persecution or poverty, of boot-strap pulling and success building. Buried beneath these American myths, however, are the uglier truths of discrimination and exploitation, racism and riots, and a generational struggle for rights and respect. Regardless of the all-embracing words on the Statue of Liberty, immigrants have never been particularly welcome on these shores, something most of Kultur Shock have discovered the hard way. But they're not taking America's abuse lying down. "We came to take away your jobs," singer Gino Yevdjevich sardonically taunts on "God Is Busy," and although He well may be, thankfully there's always an immigrant available to help out with life's more mundane tasks. We're grateful for their assistance, as long as they stay where they belong -- in the economic wilderness, a point driven home on "Poor Man's Tango." With a finely honed sense of black humor, an irreverence for all this country holds so hypocritically dear, and a view of the world few of us have seen, Kultur Shock are determined to rip the blinders from Americans' eyes. But it's not all class warfare and politics, there's "Duna"'s modern fairy tale, a Balkan- punk love song, and a wailing lament for Yevdjevich's home, "Sarajevo." That latter number, like a clutch of others, is not in English, but regardless, you can hear his pain, anger, confusion, and bitterness in every incomprehensible word. The emotions are unmistakable, regardless of the language they're delivered in, with the music speaking just as clearly. The band's dizzying blend of hardcore, post-punk and rock, with Balkan stylings, Middle-Eastern influences, and Spanish flavors splashed across the arrangements, make for a heady sound that's at once familiar yet teasingly exotic. Exuberant, angry, fun-loving, haunting, thought provoking and infectious, We Came to Take Your Jobs Away is a stunning album, the band's best to date, an exhilarating journey into a world inhabited by people too many Americans would like to just send back where they came from. How incredibly sad.

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