Gogol Bordello, Gypsy Punks

Robert Phoenix

By Robert Phoenix

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Gypsy Punks

Gogol Bordello
A frantic, fun manifesto summed up by its title.

Joe Strummer is not dead. Just one listen of Gypsy Punks and it's clear that Joltin'Joe's departed spirit has slipped into singer Eugene Hutz. Gogol's banging Balkan diaspora dovetails with Strummer's world music explorations — it's arguably the summation of the former Clash frontman's global-politique-a-go-go. But Gogol don't fancy themselves rock revolutionaries in the classic sense. On "Go Revolutions," Hutz tears into karaoke culture by proclaiming that he could make a "better revolution with his dick." Humor and 4/4 rhythms aside, the soul of Gogol is still firmly rooted in the gnarled, rocking Eastern European wedding music popularized byYuri Yukanov and Ivo Papasov. It's frantic and fun, a manifesto wrapped in irony and fired with a sly urgency, especially when Hutz breaks out into the mother-tongue of all revolutionaries, singing praises to Cuba in Spanish. Somewhere, Strummer is harmonizing with Hutz on a phantom radio from the other side.