Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike CD - Side One Dummy

By the time that you read this, Eugene Hutz will have already made the transition from charismatic frontman of gypsy-punk band Gogol Bordello to outlandish star of the silver screen. To say that all of Gogol Bordello's art-world popularity begins and ends with Hutz would be to overlook a bevy of talented musicians, whose expertise goes well beyond playing frantic gypsy rhythms as a soundtrack to Hutz's eccentric stage persona. Still, ignoring Hutz's seemingly natural drunken poet disposition would be like ignoring the proverbial elephant in the room, and capturing notoriously entertaining live bands on tape is always a daunting challenge; Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike is definitely not the exception to the rule. Recorded by Steve Albini (who in the press materials is humorously credited with producing Jimmy Page/Robert Plant and Nirvana - and no one else), Gypsy Punks starts to wear thin after the fourth track "Immigrant Punk," which sounds like a subdued With the Quickness-era Bad Brains song played on accordions. To their credit, Gogol Bordello has managed a true "fusion," mixing different musical styles without it sounding too forced or gimmicky, and at least created something that is unique. It's just that the uniqueness gets pretty stale rather quickly. (Shane Miller)



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