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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Gogol Bordello - Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike LP 2005

Sometimes things just don't go to plan. If there was one album I thought I was guaranteed to like this year it was 'Underdog World Strike'. It has all the ingredients: folky shoutiness, Eastern European, gypsy inspired, high octane paced, with a good cover and a decent title. Unfortunately they just don't do it for me.

The songs somehow get caught betwixt and between gypsy and punk genres and the combination just doesn't work with any depth or quality. The whole thing also sounds really false, with the singer's voice so stereotypically Eastern Euro meets the Clash, that it comes across as a parody rather than a genuine juxtaposition. It's the equivalent of those 'mockney' cockney accents put on by middle class groups who want to be 'street' when they are really posh kids from Reading. The icing on the cake is the odd bit of 'ragga' inspired vocal interjection which is just embarrassing.  

The whole concept would be greatly improved by dropping the whole punk/Clash business. It's a proven fact that all groups that sound like the Clash are rubbish, and that includes the Clash themselves. On one hand, Gogol Bordello could make quality bouncy gypsy music which I'm sure would be great, alternatively if they want to go down the fusion of styles route, they would be much better fusing gypsy music with techno, alt-country or synth-pop, then we'd really be cooking on gas.

Apparently they're a different proposition live and put on a sparkling stage show. I'm sure this is the case, but for me the whole idea of Gypsy Punk is fundamentally flawed and I'm going away to listen to some Taraf de Haiduks to calm down.


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