Gogol Bordello have always described themselves as being gypsy punk and nothing could describe them better. Having formed 18 years ago in the lower East side of Manhattan the band have become widely known for their raucous and playful music, theatrical stage shows, their constant touring and several film performances and scores. Despite their ceaseless touring it has actually been four years since their last release and fans have been clamouring the world over for their next endeavour.
Mercifully Gogol Bordello have returned to us at last with their latest album Seekers and Finders, a raw and powerful album that has the devastating force of a lightning bolt. The album explodes to life with everything you have come to expect from the band and so much more. Rich, intricate melodies weave in and out as their songs positively brim with life, passion and fire. Like a raging maelstrom of sound the band create an album that is utterly inimitable. Fiddle tunes are fired like bullets while the bass and drum beats pound like cannon fire; a cacophony of guitars, percussion and brass all swirl together in an explosive battle for your attention. The key word for Gogol Bordello is power. The pour their heart and soul into everything they record and you can hear it in every note. Passionate, vibrant and tenacious, the music the band produce is likely to be some of the most breakneck, quickfire tunes you’ll ever hear. With a collective sound akin to a hurricane it would be so easy for them to overstep the mark and dissipate into just becoming noise but they toe this line so carefully and instead produce a series of carefully crafted songs that exemplify their every note as their instruments vie for your attention and their songs will sild you flying wildly around the room.
One of the refreshing aspects of Gogol Bordello is the relentlessly playful streak they exhibit in their songs. Combining a wealth of genres from punk to folk along with the influence of their home country the band are able to create a unique sound that is best described in their own words as gypsy punk, carving themselves out a wonderful niche and branding it as their own. Alongside the playful nature the band have is the complexity and tenacity of their lyrics. Often carrying a blazing torch the band are unafraid of any topic and their songs range from the likes of lacklustre weddings to immense cultural changes within society. Their jovial performances can make any piece of news easily digestible without the fear that media can create. Leading the whole affair of course is the utterly unique vocal stylings of Eugene Hütz. Hütz is a gifted musician with a multitude of talents and a deeply textured, gravelly voice that sounds as though it has been honed by years of hard whisky and unfiltered cigarettes. It is a unique and fervent voice that is dripping with passion and enthusiasm as well as a somewhat mischievous sense of playfulness. Everything about his performance screams how much fun the band are having and how much fun you can be having if you’re listening to them.
Gogol Bordello have been one of the most inspired bands in the industry for nigh on 20 years now and they are showing no signs of stopping any time soon. Their music pulls rib-cracking punches and Seekers and Finders is a prime example of the raw, crackling electric energy and power the band possess. After you hear this astounding return to form, all that’s left to do is pray that we don’t have to wait another four years for their next venture.
DECEMBER UK TOUR DATES
Tue 12th – Manchester Academy, Manchester
Thu 14th – O2 Academy Brixton, London
Fri 15th – Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton
Sat 16th – Rock City, Nottingham
Sun 17th – O2 Academy, Glasgow
Seekers and Finders will be released on August 25th via Cooking Vinyl. Pre-orders available now here.
Review by Joe Knipe