The gypsy punks are back! Gogol Bordello released Trans-Continental Hustle last week, their fifth studio album, and like my last review of one of their albums, I am all over it! The gypsy/punk fusion of influences once again run rampant and frontman Eugene Hütz’s presence is undeniable as always! This album marks a big step for the band as it is their major label debut and their first with a big name attached to the producer role: Rick Rubin.
“Pala Tute” is the album’s opening track (and apparently a traditional Roman wedding song) and starts off with just some Spanish-influenced stop-and-go acoustic guitar strumming and Hütz’s thick Ukrainian accent, but the song quickly picks up when the drums, accordion and aggressive strings join in. Hütz’s voice introduces us to the punk side for the first time on this album with “Pala Tute” which sets the pace for another album that makes you want to start a mosh pit in the middle of that Eastern European brothel you’re occupying.
Another high-energy track off of Trans-Continental Hustle is “Rebellious Love.” The guitars start off strong but the strings aren’t so aggressive in this song and shrieky while the accordion is a bit more subdued as well. A dancing bass-line can be heard but you really have to get past Hütz’s voice, which is a big highlight in the song.
“To Rise Above” showcases some great guitar work which reminds me of the rhythm portion Rodrigo y Gabriela. This song starts off with a bass line slowing down the tempo even though the guitars are quick. I love the “digga-da-da-daaa” being sung in the background and the overall backup vocals are pretty swell. There is a lot going on in this song, but it is definitely fun!
Trans-Continental Hustle is another great album put out by Gogol Bordello. Sometimes Hütz’s thick accent makes it difficult to figure out what the song is about, but I think that’s all the fun in it. Gypsy punk is definitely something that’s not done in the mainstream realm but it’s probably better that way. You don’t want this gem to get spoiled!
Bonus Track: “La Isla Bonita/Pala Tute” by Madonna feat. Gogol Bordello live at Live Earth 2007
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