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Fresh Off Boat

Golem

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Album Review

Not quite their debut, but their first album with a relatively wide release. Golem is known as something of a hipster klezmer outfit in New York circles. The klezmer itself is perhaps slightly harder than most traditional forms of the sound, but not too drastically different from some of the other modern klezmer groups (the Klezmatics, Hasidic New Wave, etc). It should be noted though that the violin is used as the primary melodic instrument rather than a clarinet — a little iconoclastic, but the sound is perfectly fine. What makes Golem what they are, though, is probably the rapid-fire, overpowered vocals. The shouting, screaming, and spitting make the delivery something brasher than your usual klezmer. That said though, that's also what sets them apart from the rest of the neo-klezmer outfits out there. While fiery playing influenced by some of the newer (and older) Eastern European gypsy bands has taken over some of the sounds, the vocals often remain where they've always been. Add some anger and love courtesy of Aaron Diskin and Annette Ezekiel (who also plays a mean accordion here), along with a fine violin from Alicia Jo Rabins, and you've got a nice piece of modern, avant-garde klezmer. Just wait for their hora.

Fresh Off Boat, Golem
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