After witnessing the energy and pure punk rock fury of Gogol Bordello ten years ago on the Henry Rollins show; as one of the guests performing ‘60 Revolutions,’ taken from Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike (2005); one jumped like a kangaroo pouncing on a station wagon to the name. How had the gypsy punks progressed over the years? Had the station wagon been totalled with the kangaroo coming out a winner on the other side or was the kangaroo now roadkill?
The follow-up to Pura Vida Conspiracy (2013) sees the seventh studio release for the eccentric group of fine musicians since their formation the same year as their debut, Voi-La Intruder (1999). Lead by front man Eugene Hütz, who leads the troops on album opener ‘Did it All’ with his distinct vocals as he strums the guitar to the accordion of Pasha Newmerzhitsky and violin of Sergey Ryabtsev.
Taking down the pace with the catchy ‘Famillia Bonfireball,’ the group of multicultural musicians let loose with some nifty grooves. The upbeat ‘Break into your Higher Self’ showcases the drumming abilities of Alfredo Ortiz, who takes things up a notch and down again in sync with the bass groove of Thomas Gobena on ‘Walking on the Burning Coal,’ which has a Bruce Springsteen feel to the vocals and overall sound on this track in particular.
Experimental ‘Love Gangsters’ sounds as if The Pogues and Specials got together and this was their offspring. The reggae bass groove on ‘Clearvoyance’ is a highlight which will please fans of ska. The familiar voice of Regina Spektor, who provides the theme song for Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, collaborates with Hütz on the title track, ‘Seekers and Finders.’ The two voices work together for a soothing track.
Album standout ‘Saboteur Blues’ follows with added vocals from Pamela Racine and Vanessa Walters. The punk rock track is a banger with its pummelling bass, chugging guitar duo of Boris Pelekh and Hütz. Not leaving out the solid punk rock beat.
The sing-a-long ‘Still that Way’ with its acoustic guitar winds things down, and closes the album in a Bob Dylan kind of way. Just think if the Beatles‘ Magical Mystery Tour had Gogol Bordello as your guide from Latin America and Eastern Europe back to New York, the trip Hütz made creating the album in question.
Not what this reviewer expected after the punk frenzy ten years ago. Sure to grow on you and for what it’s worth a solid, fun album where you are all invited to the party.