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Ando Ehlers / Press

"Imagine the Tiger Lillie's on speed. They are already on acid right? Now add a handful of amphetamine. Ando came on the stage like a tornado; stomping his feet, twitching his face, rolling his eyes, frothing at the mouth and singing like he wants you to understand something really important. This was Death Polka! ...This was hard core punk with a slice of polka, just enough to keep you guessing."

“Death Polka is a new genre to me but evidently has found a home in the dark recesses of Milwaukee, Wisconsin to which the keeper of it’s sacred flame is Ando Ehlers. Just as with the existing Polkacore, POPka, and Indie Beardie Polk movements springing up out of the southwest, middlewest, and eastwestwest of the country; Ehlers is keeping it real with a passion and zeal not seen by some since early Stooges-era Iggy Pop. Fans of earlier work by The Decemberists should also take notice of his articulate lyricism laid over the skillfully placed angelic tones of Ehlers’ accordian.”

“Milwaukee has long been an on-again, off-again hotbed for what's amorphously defined as punk polka. For a band bereft of a drummer and rich in accordion, Ando & The Jolly Barrels is punkier than most. Andrew "Ando" Ehlers' barbed vocal attack— like a junior Jello Biafra—and handling of the torso-encompassing squeezebox make him a compelling frontman. Distancing themselves from their default genre's preoccupations with beer and levity, Ando and his Barrels attack emotional vacuity, apocalypse and boring day jobs with an enthusiasm bordering on crazed glee. And if the tempos and rhythms approximate hardcore more than what's to be heard at certain stages at Polish Fest and German Fest, then these guys would be the perfect opening act for everyone from the Violent Femmes to Gogol Bordello. If there's any justice, however, they'll be headlining soon enough.”

"...I sit here in my secret HQ surrounded by piles of punk LPs, stacks of snotty-vocaled 45s, a few boxes of demo cassettes and racks & racks of CDs. In my 26 years of spending my hard earned cash I've only asked one thing from a punk release: that it includes one, just ONE, song that focuses anger into a sing-a-long stiletto. A single track that I can identify with and use to vent my anger as I sing along. "Who Cares" has that, a venom-toothed attack on wage-slaverly entitled "Day Job". It. Kicks. Ass. If I saw them live I'd lose my voice screaming along to the line "let's all live a lie!". I'd recommend this CD to you based on this number alone..."

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