September 27, 2007

Record Review: Gogol Bordello

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While the songs are as eclectic, smart and energetic as ever, self-categorized underground Gypsy punk rockers Gogol Bordello seem to have lost a measure of precision. The bulk of Super Taranta!’s songs begin with catchy, vocal-driven verses that meander into complicated and lifeless instrumental outros. Even the few standout tracks annoyingly crumble into misplaced acoustic solos and anguished hardcore breakdowns bordering on gimmicky. More seamless transitions can be found in front man Eugene Hütz’s driving vocals, which grow increasingly agitated as each song winds along, ultimately climaxing in full-blown tirades in fluid Ukrainian. Lyrically, the band remains at top form. On “Supertheory of Supereverything,” an accordion-driven ballad Colin Meloy could write if he were real-smart instead of fake-creative-writing-smart, Hütz’s voice writhes about assimilation, proselytization and particle acceleration, screaming, “My brothers are protons! / My sisters are neurons!” We believe it.