|04-28-2010, 02:30 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Cardboard Box Realtor
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Hobb's End
Gogol Bordello - Trans-Continental Hustle
01. Pala Tute
02. My Companjera
03. Sun Is On My Side
04. Rebellious Love
05. Immigraniada (We Comin' Rougher)
06. When Universes Collide
07. Uma Menina
08. Raise The Knowledge
09. Last One Goes The Hope
10. To Rise Above
11. In the Meantime in Pernambuco
12. Break the Spell
13. Trans-Continental Hustle
Trans-Continental Hustle is Gogol Bordello’s 5th release and their first major label release after signing to American Records, an affiliate of Columbia Records. Legendary producer Rick Rubin was hired to usher the New York City Gypsy Punk band into the mainstream media and for the most part he does a wonderful job at smoothing out the rough edges of Gogol Bordello’s previous albums, but in doing so he declaws the unique characteristics that have made Gogol Bordello such an enjoyable band to follow over the years.
Gogol Bordello continue their fusion of Eastern European folk music with North American punk, however for this installment they added more of a Brazilian theme, largely attributed to front man Eugene Hutz’s move to Sao Paulo. This is evidenced by the strong acoustic theme featuring heavy strumming to give the songs a more round and robust sound and the heavy inclusion of Portuguese in the lyrics and song titles, “Uma Menina” and “Immigraniada (We Comin’ Rougher)” specifically. There are still undercurrents of their previous Eastern European sound, but it is for the most part hidden beneath horn blasts and heavy acoustic strumming. Despite the shift in a new direction sound wise, the catchy hooks and fast paced drum beats found on previous albums are still present and are impossible to ignore.
Perhaps the most memorable aspects to Gogol Bordello are their elaborate live shows with large crowd interaction. The same level of energy is replicated as best it can in a studio environment, but Trans-Continental Hustle has toned down that level of energy to a very noticeable level for longtime fans of the band. Previous albums like Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike and Super Taranta! Were so chaotic and lively that they could be mistaken for live albums, however Trans-Continental Hustle features a very strict set up for the instruments. Instead of that chaotic level of energy, we are given some of the best lyrics that Hutz has written yet on a wide array of topics. The track “When Universes Collide” starts off as a kind of melancholic narrative about the jarring differences between a cities higher and lower class neighborhoods before going off into “Preparing ethno-cleansing ride/ two helicopters with machine guns/ Over the slums, proudly will glide”, a frightening account of the heinous acts carried out against the less fortunate. The best song lyrically off the album is easily the 12th track “Break the Spell” which tells the tale of a Roma refugee in an Italian camp and the discrimination they face “Just because I come from Roma Camp up the hill/ they put me in the school for mentally ill”. Hutz notes the general animosity aimed towards the Roma’s in the bitter tone of a man who is all too familiar with that kind of treatment going so far as to say “All them lies about Roma/ you love our music/ but you hate our guts”.
The best part about Trans-Continental Hustle isn’t so much the lyrics or the music, but rather the ideas behind each of the songs. Each of the songs is written from the immigrant perspective, because Hutz and nearly every member of Gogol Bordello are immigrants ranging from Ukraine, Russia, Israel, and Ethiopia. The immigrant inspired lyrics have been a focal point for Gogol Bordello since their inception and with the added Brazilian theme it proves just how similar we all are, be it if we are from south of the Equator or in Eastern Europe. This connection, proved just by the eclectic diversity of the band is further illustrated by a picture in the lyrics booklet depicting Hutz sharing the microphone with three eager youths of a different ethnicity. The connective nature of the picture is quite inspiring and further proves that music may be the great social unifier.
It is always a gamble when a band goes from an independent to a major label because there is always the chance that the band will lose its soul in the process. It is every Indie fan’s worst nightmare when a band they love gets picked up, the anticipation and anxiety for continuing the established sound rather than settling for something that will appease the mass majority. While Gogol Bordello do experiment with their sound and style on Trans-Continental Hustle the same spark burns as brightly as before, and the only differences are those that come from new experiences and growth. If you’re after the abrasive sound of previous albums you may be a little disappointed with it only showing itself on “Immigraniada (We Comin’ Rougher)” but if you can accept that bands grow over time then you will find yourself immersed in the sounds of a new chapter in Gogol Bordello’s career. If you’re new to the band then you owe it to yourself to at least check them out because bands like this are a unique and welcome change to an industry chalk full of carbon copies.
|04-28-2010, 03:54 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
I'm still pissed.
|06-28-2010, 02:28 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2010
Okay, so anyone who will most likely be a bordello Gogol album automatically owns the album, buy, but for those who do not know what Gogol bordello, this is one of the best album they put out . Trans Continental hustle a little more mellow than anything they've put out before, but still the frantic nature keeps the previous albums. They are not really radio friendly, but this album has. Yet another home run by Gypsy Punks!
|07-04-2010, 07:42 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2009
Gogol's Bordello is like the Grateful Dead in the sense that it's difficult to capture the essence of their live shows in a recording studio. One of the things I like about the new album is Eugene gets a chance to show off his skills playing a six string accoustic guitar. I've seen him play a solo show and he's an excellent gypsy style classical guitar player.
|12-17-2010, 07:57 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Stoned and Jammin' Out
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Northern California; Eugene, OR; mobile
Excellent review OP. I've been a fan since 05/06 and wasn't even aware of them getting signed or whatever. I smelt something in the air on this album, but their live presence is still phenomenal. So it's a bit different. That's nice I'd say. Considering it's album 5, they're bound to evolve.