Hardcore 2/4

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This 1999 release is the long, long, long-awaited follow-up to their 1986 debut, Polkacide. While that first release clearly revealed their punk proclivities, this album (despite its name) seems more solidly grounded in the fine art of polka than in hardcore punk. The horn arrangements at times display klezmer and New Orleans leanings coupled with obvious Eastern European polka styles like Polish and Czech. The chirping, swinging, and warbling clarinet of Neil Basa dictates the course of the brass section which includes saxophones, trombone, trumpet, and tuba. And the frenzied yet subdued punk rhythm section combined with the polka beat create a hybrid that few other bands can lay claim to. At times a parallel to Texas' Brave Combo can be drawn particularly where the Euro-styled brass meets the driving rhythms, but to Polkacide's credit they are slightly more irreverent than their Lone Star brethren. Rotondi, an '80s band that made short-lived inroads into popularizing polka, were a bit more polished, pop-oriented, and crisply produced than these Bay Area characters. It's doubtful, though, that any polka-based group can whip a crowd into a gleeful, beer-soaked and kielbasa-smoked frenzy like Polkacide can.

blue highlight denotes track pick