Monday, August 06, 2007

Gogol Bordello - Super Taranta

Fich Griwkowsky reviews Gogol Bordello's Super Taranta.
In this city, it's odd that not everyone knows Gogol Bordello. A punk Slav booze orchestra with acrobatic dancing girls - are you kidding me? Inside the band's chaotic coating lives a mad Ukrainian singer named Eugene Hutz - roving philosopher and one of the few modern "gypsies" to actually live up to the name. Based in New York, they put on the best live show there is. Seriously; early last year's show at the old Sidetrack was a flurry of legs, horns, accordions and near-nakedness that I'll never forget.

Bringing us to the new album, held up against the stellar Underdog World Strike of 2005.

Like its muscular predecessor, Super Taranta mixes the hooting, whistling and bootstomping of traditional Russian folk music with punchy guitars and an outright raunchy worldview. The echoey dub continues with more subtlety; it's more part of the band's general sound now, fitting the universal spirit of the seminal gypsy movie Latcho Drom. And if the whole album was as strong as the first three numbers, it'd get full marks.

Begins Hutz in his best bohunk, "If we are here not to do what you and I wanna do and go forever crazy with it, why the hell we are even here? There was never any good old days. They are today, they are tomorrow. It's a stupid thing we say, cursing tomorrow with sorrow."

And, yes, he really talks that way. The following song, "Wanderlust King", keeps up the spirit of the eternal and roving party the band's life must be.

There's a song about an uncle being an auntie, various condemnations of sedentary life and even a hilarious attack on American weddings, one-day things where the DJ is packing up his cords at 1 a.m. (A proper party is three days, as many of you know).

As always, the album can't begin to match the live show, but this is a collection of new material worth hearing. To make it really easy on you, buy the bright yellow album first.
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