Moldova – Trenuleţul by Zdob şi Zdub

MOLDOVA, YOU BEAUTIFUL GENIUSES! YOU’VE DONE IT AGAIN!

You know why I love Moldova at Eurovision? Because they only care about one thing: bringing the party. Their songs don’t fit a “Eurovision formula”. They’re not trying to win the contest. The only they want is three minutes of a good time – whether it’s epic sax guy, stripper cops, or a 1970’s Carry On style sex farce.

And this year, Moldova has brought back the original party band – Zdob și Zdub, who were the very first act Moldova sent to Eurovision in 2005. They sang a song about an old woman they met on tour who taught them how to drum…and then actually had her on stage with them. It was three minutes of ska-tinged folk rock manic energy, and Europe loved it enough to place it 6th.

Zdob și Zdub then came back again in 2011 with the song “So Lucky,” which had an irresistible horn riff and a delightful over-enunciation of the phrase “whiskey on the rocks.”

And now, Zdob şi Zdub are coming back for a record THIRD TIME, joining a select group that includes legends like Carola, Lys Assia and Valentina Monetta (as a soloist).

In Moldova, the equivalent of a party bus is apparently… a party train?

I never thought I’d be able to hear a “Hey ho, let’s go” without thinking of the Ramones, but for the past few months, I’d follow it up with “Folklore and rock and roll!”

This song is catchy, danceable, AND about public transport, so it’s immediately in my top 5. I also hope that the mention of neighbouring country Romania will get Moldova 12 points from them.

The only thing that worries me about this song is that Zdob şi Zdub have fallen prey to the dreaded Eurovision remix – a cursed event that happens every year when a song that is already well established as an earworm gets an update for the Eurovision stage, often with declining results.

In this case, Zdob şi Zdub have added extra electric guitar – something that’s usually a positive thing. But in this case, the electric guitar slows the manic energy down and removes the frenzied energy to be found in the original.

Even with that – I love this song. I love this band. I will be dancing like a maniac to their performance, and only hope that they make it out of this bloodbath final.

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