While sometimes hearing rock and roll played from a non-English as first language country can be alarmingly bad or cartoonish, sometimes you hear the most interesting stuff imaginable.
One of my favorite discoveries of the past year was digging into a Hungarian band from the ’70s called Illes – who were like the Beatles (or Stones) of Hungary, during the Communist era, and while reflecting the ’60s rock movement also retained elements of their native folk music and launguage. Now it’s 2017, and the world is global and information spreads more easily, so I don’t know that there’s a direct „Polish-ness” to Trupa Trupa, but there is an otherworld and unique vibe the exists in the songs – I’m not sure a band from the UK or US could sound like this. What’s it sounds like? If you take a bit of the Radiohead post-rock and a touch of Pink Floyd with a litte minimalism added in, plus whatever the second language and folk traditions their Polishness must impart, and you get this really interesting thing happening.
Jim McGuinn jest dyrektorem programowym amerykańskiego publicznego radia The Current.