Welcome to Review Revue, where every Thursday I dig through the KEXP stacks to share DJ reviews and comments written on the covers of LPs (and occasionally CDs) in the ’80s and ’90s, when the station was called KCMU, the DJs were volunteers, and people shared their opinions on little white labels instead of the internet.
Of the many bands that I've covered in this series over the years that I'm embarrassed not to be more familiar with, Brave Combo has just shot to the top of the list. They've been a band for almost forty years; they've released dozens of albums; they've been on The Simpsons, for crying out loud. Yet all I can say is that I've definitely heard their name, and I was pretty sure they were a polka-affiliated group. I now know that they were also that rarest of beasts, the eclectic accordion band beloved by college radio DJs. We're used to a lot of argument and acrimony when we delve into these reviews from the college days, but the discussion on the cover of Humansville, Brave Combo's eighth (or so) studio album, is actually kind of boring. Everybody loved them! I've never seen so many non-rage-induced exclamation marks on one of these album covers. But it's fun to read anyway, if only for the misspellings. I don't know when the band will next hit Seattle (where they obviously have strong connections, between this blog post and the fact that their photo on Wikipedia is from Ballard Seafood Fest), but if you're down in their home state of Texas you can catch them a couple different times this month and next. Be brave!
"Plenty of acordian [sic] here!"
""This is great! It's swinging + lively! Good bouquet! (Hostess)"
"POLKA DIETIES! [sic]"
"Brave Combo = True Bliss"
"What a musically diverse and brilliant album!"
"And I say it again! This is such a hot record! -Hostess"
"I love it. It's absolutely brilliant. I am in total agreement w/the Hostess."