Since their formation, the Zydepunks have been one of New Orleans’ most rousing live performers. Their energetic arrangements will get you moving whether you’re at a bar or a Celtic festival. On their new album, Exile Waltz, the Zydepunks deliver their most rambunctious collection of songs yet. The rhythm section anchors their punk style, while the accordion, fiddle, and Ti-Juan’s hyper Afro-French vocals give them an authentic Zydeco feel. “Boudreaux Crosses the Danube” starts off with a winding melody straight from a jack-in-the-box, and then explodes into a lightening-fast variation on an Irish jig. Shortly after the halfway point, the song breaks down into a hypnotic waltz, but soon regains its frisky tempo. A seductive little number that recalls old Parisian nights unravels into a rapid-fire accordion assault on “Andropov/Polka Felix.”
Lyrically, the Zydepunks still need to mature a bit. When Ti-Juan spouts, “Well I’ve been up / When I’ve been down / When I’ve been walking / all over town,” on “Big Man Walking in the Rain,” it just sounds too predictable. However, it’s difficult to get bored listening to a Zydepunks record. Exile Waltz is lively, infectious, and an extremely fun listen.