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Reinventing the wheel Estonian band Trad Attack are a thrilling experience.
With their roots in Estonian folk music or ‘turbo Nordic folk’ as they like to term it, they take the past push it into the present and keep a very strong local folk tradition alive making it sound international instead of regional. Their new album is their best yet. A perfect fusion.
The aptly named band take the traditional and pull it kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. Live and on record they play a whole collection of weird and wonderful traditional instruments and make them rock. I saw them live in their home country and the packed venue was jumping as they somehow combined the excitement of the jumped up White Stripes blues with an east European folk feel and maybe like Jack White’s key duo who were talking their own roots music of the blues and reinventing it for the 21st century Trad Attack were doing the same with their culture.
God knows what any of their instruments are called – there’s weird looking bagpipes, odd shaped flutes, guitars with an odd number of strings and strange clattering things as well as things that make hypnotic droning sounds but somehow they are all combined into a music that sound like the NOW.
This is not a crusty museum piece. Trad Attack understand that the point of these instruments and this music was to dance to and to tell stories with and they crank the whole thing up with thoroughly joyous modern feel that takes in the rush of live guitar music, the ecstatic peace of drone music and the deep longing of music embedded into the hills of local culture and always with one eye to the dance floor and their songwriting is top notch as will.
This is a great album and is their best chance of breaking out of their already huge home country status.