A marketplace in a small village tucked within the jagged mountains of the Carpathians in Romania. A place not visited by western tourists. An ensemble plays for the villagers as they meet to barter wares and drink crudely made alcohols. The local children all sit on the dirty ground, entranced by the sounds coming form the stage. Violins, horns and piano accordions play a Eastern European polka beat. Then out of nowhere, fast tempo, down tuned guitars break out and all of a sudden you’re thrown into a System Of A Down concert. That my friends, is The Barons Of Tang.
For the most part, it’s gypsy folk music which is becoming strangely popular. (take for example Gogol Bordello, Foxy Shazam) but every now and again it breaks into an almost Mr. Bungle style change of pace. Serious metal overtones mixed with the violins and horns. Haunting organ interludes and then, as you just come to grips with that. Back to Russian polka. It’s a bizarre mix that is truly original and completely insane.
All tracks are also instrumentals. Occasionally you might get a death metal/Mike Patton type growl (as in ‘Even If You’re Missing Fingers You Can Still Make A Fist’ – contender for song title of the year award!) but I’m not convinced it’s anything other than jibberish. It’s almost like listening to the Cantina band out of Star War on crack and drunk on absinthe. Quite possibly the craziest EP I’ve heard this year. Well done, The Barons Of Tang.