Gogol Bordello
Multa Kontra Culti vs. Irony CD - Rubric

Von, two, tree, four - countdown to the wildest birthday party you’ve never attended. There goes drunken Grandpa Borysko, shouting obscenities at little Aleksander again. Somebody please warn I-smell-like-sauerkraut-and-borscht Mykhailo to stop groping his trousers by the DJ booth or else. And whoever told Auntie Georgina the plywood stage would survive her three-hundred-pound fancy footwork was gravely mistaken. Are we having fun yet? Gogol Bordello, a collective of Eastern European and Israeli transplants who sought political refuge in America and first met playing gypsy music at Russian weddings, has earned itself an enviable place in the hearts of New York’s hipsters. On the group’s second full-length, Multa Kontra Culti vs. Irony, ringmaster/singer Eugene Hutz spins sinister stories of the immigrant experience over a medley of squeezeboxes, pounding percussion and choruses rife with agony. Sweaty polkas spread faster than a case of herpes at an Annie Sprinkle convention while Sergei Riabtsev saws away at his fiddle and Yuri Lemshev tries to keep his accordion from bursting at the seams. Before Hutz (a self-described “bordello kind of guy”) was a model/actress magnet, he spent his Thursday nights scratching a motley mix of Gypsy, Rai and Flamenco on the turntables at a Bulgarian restaurant. When the city elite caught word of the plate-smashing dance parties, they flocked like bees to his hive. The live Brecht-ian cabaret fast became the Bordellos’ staple - a slapstick spectacle of pantomime and props, table dancing, and stealing the shoes of sloshed onlookers - and one that permeates every last grunt and trill on this unstoppable record. Sleazy, chaotic and feral, Gogol Bordello puts the handlebar mustache back in fashion. (Ashlea Halpern)



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