Eugene Hütz‘s revolution has hit a snag. On 2005’s Gypsy Punks Underground World Strike, the Gogol Bordello frontman roused hordes of rabble from the urban immigrant stew he dubbed “the Gypsy part of town” toward two radical goals: a joyously chaotic hedonism and a borderless planet populated by interracial mongrels. Two years later, gentility threatens the first (“No can do this, no can do that,” the firebrand grumbles on “Tribal Connections”); and Hütz acknowledges the second’s downside on “Zina-Marina,” in which Ukrainian girls are lured into Middle Eastern slavery by Top Model promises. And don’t get him started on that lousy “American Wedding” — over by 1 a.m., you call that a party?
Undaunted, Hütz declares his new “Supertheory of Supereverything” and his indebtedness to the tarantella, an Italian folk song and dance. Leave verification of the latter to the musicologists — we laypeople can simply enjoy the band’s increasingly deep groove, its rich crosscutting of violin and accordion melodies, and its mastery of both Gypsycore thrash and lilting Euro-reggae. Hütz’s energy remains undiminished. He transforms sentiments like “There was never any good old days” and “I can’t go on / I will go on” into rallying cries, and he’s even more eloquent on the title track, where the lyrics degenerate into unintelligible muttering. Celebration is still Hütz’s natural mode. But desperation also becomes him. KEITH HARRIS
Gogol Bordello – SPIN’s Year in Music Party