by David Chiu
I saw Gogol Bordello at the Tibet concert at Carnegie Hall this past February and I was pretty impressed by their performance. This band’s brand of gypsy punk was as passionate as it was danceable and rocking. The same feeling could be found on the band’s latest album, Trans-Continental Hustle, which is produced by Rick Rubin. Yes the music has a predominantly Eastern European folk-meets-rock feel, but there are moments where one can hear traces of Middle Eastern, ska and Afro-Cuban influences. With frontman Eugene Hutz’s thick accent, the songs are filled with fervor, passion and urgency: the opening track “Pala Tute” sets the tone with its heavy guitar strumming and violin as well as a danceable beat; the rest of the music is very celebratory-sounding. “Immigraniada (We Comin’ Rougher)” is perhaps the heaviest song with a punk/anarchistic attitude, while that is offset by the tender and souful ballad “Sun Is On My Side.” Eclectic doesn’t merely describe Trans-Continetal Hustle.