sun 23/06/2024

Album: Gogol Bordello - Solidaritine | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Gogol Bordello - Solidaritine

Album: Gogol Bordello - Solidaritine

Mixed heritage gypsy-punks add some hardcore punk to their sound

Gogol Bordello has ramped up their Eastern European gypsy-punk 'music of survival and perseverance'

If anyone was going to produce a raucous musical response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, it was always likely to be Gogol Bordello. After all, the band has both Ukrainian and Russian members (among other nationalities), they have a tendency to champion the underdog and aren’t timid about flagging up injustice.

New album, Solidaritine is indeed Eugene Hutz and his gang’s take on the things that are presently taking place in Eastern Europe. However, while it’s clear where Gogol Bordello’s sympathies lie, they don’t resort to sloganeering or explicitly calling out the Butcher of Moscow by name. Instead, they have ramped up their Eastern European gypsy-punk “music of survival and perseverance” with more than a dash of prime-time hardcore punk rock on songs that call for unity and justice while championing the power of human potential. There is even a cover of Fugazi’s “Blueprint” and a guest appearance by Bad Brains’ singer HR on “The Era of the End of Eras” for added heft.

There’s also the stomping “I’m Coming Out” with its sneering rejection of “zombie lifestyle magazines”, the frantic “Take Only What You Can Carry” and a high-speed re-recording of “Forces of Victory” from the Super Taranta! album, with assistance from Ukrainian poet and novelist Serhiy Zhadan and electrofolk band Kazka. However, while Gogol Bordello have managed to knock out plenty of spirited songs on Solidaritine, it’s yet another album that really doesn’t do justice to a band whose explosive shows are nothing less than spectacular – and which rarely leave a single audience member not dancing like someone possessed. That said, it’s always easier to get lost in passionate and lively tunes that don’t vary a great deal when you’re in the middle of an energetic and well-oiled crowd – and that will have to wait until Gogol Bordello hit the road in the UK again.

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