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Album Review

Attwenger's fifth CD in about 15 years is literally a Dog — in the past, the Austrian duo has summarized the subjects of Song and Sun, two more recent titles in its discography on the adventurous Trikont label. Apparently there was a time when this outfit could be compared to a group such as Brave Combo in attempting an audience-friendly modernization of the polka genre. Attwenger's Hans-Peter Falkner is an excellent accordion player who puts his axe through electronic processing as well as letting it sing out in its full natural glory. Dog — its 14 tracks musing on "Sex," a "Dog," and a "Barn," not to mention the German titles — shows that this band has gone way beyond trying to sex up polka for hipsters. Most of these pieces are simultaneously catchy and strange, in itself an accomplishment in a world of forgettable weirdos. The moods are unique, hardly the re-creation of yesterday's beer bash. Vocals are in German, but even a person who thinks "nein" is a number will be ready to follow the marching orders of Falkner and partner Markus Binder, provider of whammy, scrammy drum patterns and vocal collaborator. Syllables jumping and clicking like grasshoppers on Ecstasy, these thickly recorded vocals are so convincing that listeners from a variety of language backgrounds may feel sure they have understood something. In other words, this is like listening to Little Richard sing "Long Tall Sally." For this reason alone it seemed more appropriate to forward the record to the likes of hedonistic disc jockey Saturday Night Mike than to a German-language specialist. Not that this move helped much in terms of compiling a review. This is all he wrote: "Got this 'Attawagon' or whatever the hell you sent me on the blaster, front porch, drinking a Red Stripe, man life is good! Even my dog likes it." Actually, that last sentence is probably all this band needs to hear.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

With their hardcore fusion of folk, punk, and hip-hop, Attwenger have been described, with some justification, as the Austrian's answer to the Pogues. Basing their sound around the accordion, Attwenger fuse older motifs with a montage of fast and furious rock sounds, syncopated rap drumming, and samples....
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Dog, Attwenger
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