World music is a funny thing. It begins with the purest of intentions: to invite the listener to explore the country of its origin by providing an aural guide to its history, its peoples, its struggles and its victories.
The thing is, almost the entire genre has been co-opted by new age douchebags seeking to show their eclecticism by having a CD collection that spans the globe, thus enticing the female of the species to then be so enamored and impressed by this enlightened individual that she will willingly drop her beads to the floor and propagate the species in a never ending cycle of douchebaggery (thanks, Patton) that we will all suffer for until the end of our days forever remaining the silent victims of the obscene coupling.
Granted, this is a worst-case scenario.
Nevertheless, there is a stigma attached to world music that makes it almost instantly dismissive unless there is general interest in the region. Eastern Blok is exactly what you would expect - the music of Eastern Europe, more specifically The Balkans. The four-piece band is the vision of Goran Ivanaovic, a Croatian-born, talented guitarist. The band is very good, recreating music that is very faithful to the region - heavily weighing on the bouzouki and clarinet. But
unless you have an active interest in the culture, you're just going to find it very hard to care about this album.
There are no vocals - the songs are all instrumentals, which is a missed opportunity on the band's part as a vocalist(s) singing in their native tongue would most certainly enhance the music that, albeit nice and pretty and everything happy world music should be is just not memorable in the least. This is unfortunate, as the band are extremely talented and they can be appreciated under the right circumstances, though don't ask me, I have no idea what circumstances. But all the best playing in the world won't mean shit to a hrast because there will always be a side of you that wishes they were Gogol Bordello.