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83 of 88 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gypsy punks unite!
I love fusion bands, and I always have. When multiple styles click together and create a new, vivid hybrid, then there's no other sound like it in the world.

That's also a good description of Gogol Bordello's third full-length album, "Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike" -- a mad mixture of gypsy, punk, reggae, Latin and who knows what else. It's more than a...
Published on August 9, 2005 by E. A Solinas

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Better in person.
Good party band, and great to see in person. I can only listen to the album for so long before I'm ready to give it a break.
Published 24 months ago by Matthew Jason Bowers


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83 of 88 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gypsy punks unite!, August 9, 2005
This review is from: Gogol Bordello /Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike (Audio CD)
I love fusion bands, and I always have. When multiple styles click together and create a new, vivid hybrid, then there's no other sound like it in the world.

That's also a good description of Gogol Bordello's third full-length album, "Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike" -- a mad mixture of gypsy, punk, reggae, Latin and who knows what else. It's more than a little insane, as it spins without warning from one style to the next. But the energy and spirit make that a good kind of insanity.

It opens with staccato snarls and unpolished fiddle playing in "Sally," before exploding into a streak of frenetic punk music. Just when it seems that they have settled into a signature style, they kick into "Immigrant Punk," which is best described as rock played with fiddle and accordion.

Eugene Hutz has the right amount of punk sneer that you'd expect for such music, but he also doesn't seem to be taking himself seriously. He fits into metal-tinged rockers, gypsy dance music, and a bunch of other genre-straddling song styles.

In a nutshell, don't expect any of this to sound like... anything you've ever heard.

Frontman Hutz -- who stars in the much-anticipated "Everything Is Illuminated," adapted from Jonathan Safran Foer's novel -- seems to be spreading his colourful personality all over the music. Exhibit A: lyrics as wild and insane as the music. Example: "Start wearin' purple for me now/all your sanity and wits/they will all vanish/I promise!" Okay, Eugene, whatever you say!

Hutz also provides the frenetic percussion and some of that equally energetic guitar. And he's backed by Yuri Lemeshev's accordion and Sergey Ryabtzev's violin, which add a folksy flair. It's a very weird sound, but Gogol Bordello manages to balance it out between the gypsy-Slavic sound, and the punk energy.

The title of "Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike" pretty much describes the album itself -- a mad, wild, colourful patchwork of different sounds and styles. Refreshingly weird and original.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insanely great, November 18, 2006
By 
Z. D. Carter (Somewhere in Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gogol Bordello /Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike (Audio CD)
Take Clash/Sex Pistols punk-hard-rock energy, add a blend of crazy, slippery east european and latin rhythms, and gypsy instrumental virtuosity. Throw in a shovelful of amphetamines and enough vodka to make the whole thing flammable, then stand back and throw a match. Voila. Gogol Bordello. Probably no other band that's walked the earth, has ever been quite this frenetic, ferocious, or fun. This is music with angry eyes and a goofy grin.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gypsy Punks says it all, May 9, 2006
By 
Kid A (Boulder, CO) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gogol Bordello /Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike (Audio CD)
I'd never heard of Gogol Bordello, but they were one of the opening bands when I went to see Cake a few months ago. We arrived in the middle of their set, and for a minute there I thought we had accidentally gone to the circus instead of a concert.

For the rest of their set, the four of us had a lot of laughs. In fact, my comment at one point was "This sounds like gypsy punk". Little did I know. Unfortunately, the sound was horrendous and the stage antics only lended themselves to some hardy laughter. It was certainly entertaining, there was no doubt.

A few weeks later, a co-worker of mine and I were on a business trip and we ran across this CD at a local record store. He bought it and we promptly threw it into the rental car's CD player. To our amazement, it not only sounded a lot like what we'd heard live, but it sounded much better.

I like fusions as much as the next guy, which I suppose is why I appreciate Gogol Bordello. Would I go out and buy more of their stuff? Probably not, but not because it's bad. It's a very interesting listen and I credit these guys for creating something genuinely unique. For that reason alone, I'd recommend this CD to anybody who thrives on different musical styles. If your tastes run along the lines of most FM radio, you may not appreciate this. If your tastes are more eclectic, you could do a lot worse than Gogol Bordello!

Viva la gypsys.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...music salves the troubled soul...", April 17, 2006
This review is from: Gogol Bordello /Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike (Audio CD)
This album is a musical expression of the best sex you've ever had.

The length of the CD is great, the way it plays end to end is a fabulous ride, and the fact that Gogol Bordello consists of real musicians shines through. I don't know much about producing, but it seems like the focus was on the band and not so much on the vocals. And really, it's lovely that way. Eugene Hutz's unpolished snarl and Euro. beatboxing pulls you in immediately. As the album plays, there's actually a full range of vocal ability from maniacal howling to a coherent musical rant - might I say almost pleading? - about what's wrong with people today.

The music is a wildly passionate conglomeration of Gypsy/klezmer (they're nearly the same), reggae, and dub all spun together into punk rock.

Also, never does it ever get whiny. If you come from a European immigrant background, the tone is all too familiar. A little tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, commentary, attention to history, oblique references, and free and open manipulation of the English language. It's beautiful. For me, it was like my background and upbringing made it onto a CD that took the Old World and made it new again.

Like I said. The best sex. Intimate, maniacally passionate, personal, universal, and the timing is perfect.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music for your mind, or at least your hips., October 19, 2006
By 
Reed T. Foreman (either Anchorage, AK or Las Vegas, NV) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gogol Bordello /Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike (Audio CD)
Gogol Bordello's latest album has two layers. The first layer is aparent after a fitst listening, the second takes a while. One of the first things that drew me to this band, and probably what gets most people hooked on them, was the fusion of sounds they produce. I'm a big fan of bands like Flogging Molly, bands who manage to fuse their ethnic heritage along with good ole' punk rock. The eastern gypsy music (as well as reggae, flamenco, and whatever else they decide to throw in) adds a fun twist on what would normally be considered simple, three-chord-or-less rock. The music is just so fun that everytime I hear it, I want to jump around the room like I'm at some crazy wedding (note: "Dogs Were Barking" is exactly this)! However, after I calmed down, I started listening to what Eugene Hütz was singing (some call it screaming, but screw them). What wasn't in Hungarian (or Ukranian, I'm not very good with Eastern European languages) was very smart, politically-charged comments on culture and where one belongs. Songs like "Immigrant Punk" and "Underdog World Strike" are near-brilliant critiques about how Americans handle culture. Although there are some songs that are just for fun ("Start Wearing Purple" and the mostly-instrumental "Not A Crime" and "Mishto!"), this album is packed with brilliant social commentary backed, or perhaps masked, by wonderful hip-shaking musical variety. I true pleasure to listen to!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation, September 28, 2005
This review is from: Gogol Bordello /Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike (Audio CD)
So Balkan music was not on my radar screen, sue me. It is now. This thing is thrilling. With a punky sentiment and a modern/ancient delivery, 'Underdog World Strike' will have you bopping around the kitchen wondering how you missed this stuff until now. If you are reading this you will be fan.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immigrant punk!, September 29, 2005
By 
Patrick Stott (Rolleston, Canterbury, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gogol Bordello /Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike (Audio CD)
Gogol Bordello is a little bit different from your average Punk band.

Gogol Bordello's violins set them far apart from most three chord Punks. Er, and a singer who sounds like Ren Hoek, the world's most famous cartoon Chihuahua. And their love of Ukrainian Folk music. And the odd Reggae MC spot, complete with Jamaican rhythms. Um, and then there's the occasional Electronica/Dance influence. And the Spanish lyrics, which go quite well with the Ukrainian lyrics.

OK, so Gogol Bordello is pretty much a mucked up Gypsy/Punk mess. If you thought Refused were out there and pushing the boundaries of Punk, grab your binoculars and check again. Unfortunately, the best reference points for this band are similarly obscure as it is. The closest comparison would probably be the accordion-loving Korean Punk superstars Crying Nut, or Polish weirdy-Thrashers The Acid Drinkers, or even Finnish tractor-driving Teddy-Boy Rockers The Leningrad Cowboys. Unfortunately, hardly anyone has ever heard of them. If you want a near approximation of `Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike', you will need: an album of Ukrainian Folk music (try the library, but Romanian or Hungarian may suffice), a NOFX album (preferably scratched, so it skips and jumps), any episode of Ren and Stimpy ("Fire Dogs" should do just fine). Then, basically, play `em all at once. Stick the Folk music in your good stereo, NOFX on a tinny sounding portable radio, and Ren and Stimpy on the telly. Move around the lounge until you find a spot where all three are about the same volume and listen.

Generally, guitars carry most Punk bands. However, the violin is the lead instrument, ably supported by the accordion, and the guitar just fills the gaps.

"Sally" sounds like a manic carnival march, while vocalist Eugene Hutz raves about cultural revolution and flies. "I Would Never Wanna Be Young Again" is even more maniacal, punctuated by pscychitic screams. Third track "Not A Crime" repeats the phrase "In the old time/It was not a crime", and that's it. Who knows what the offence was! Musically, it's a traditional Gypsy song, also repeated over and over, with a hint of Reggae and Techno thrown in. While electric guitars are highly versatile, it's hard to beat the expressiveness, and in this case the sense of fun, a violin can convey.

All the craziness is tied together by a chaotic sense of melody and irresistible nonsensical lyrics, as addictive and logical as a nicotine and heroin sandwich. There is a bit of a message here, explaining how hard immigrants have it in the USA ("Immigrant Punk", "Underdog World Strike"), how bad it was back home ("Avenue B", "Think Locally, **** Globally"), and raging against the machine ("Sally", "60 Revolutions", "Oh No"). A lot of it though is just for fun. "Dogs Were Barking" is the weirdest wedding song ever written, sung half in Ukrainian. "Start Wearing Purple" and apparently all your sanity and wits will vanish and you'll start discussing philosophy.

Po-faced Straight-Edgers and crusty Anarcho-Punks need not bother with Gogol Bordello. It's too silly. Similarly, Good Charlotte/Green Day Punk pretenders will be thinking "what the...?" However, if Mr Bungle isn't eclectic enough for you, then perhaps you should consider joining the Gypsy Punk Party.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars oh yes!, January 3, 2007
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This review is from: Gogol Bordello /Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike (Audio CD)
If you need to wake up your senses and shake yourself out of the tedium of every day life, then buy this CD because things will never be the same. It's gypsy, it's punk, and you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great energy, great vibe, great music., August 12, 2009
To be honest, I didn't know who this band was at all. I was wondering around D-Fest (music festival in downtown Tulsa, OK) and saw one of the large stage areas packed with people. I was heading towards the Black Crows to catch their show and was surprised some other band gathered such a large crowd at the same time so I popped in.

I came. I listened. I stayed.

The music was driving with fantastic energy. It incorporated violins and accordions in punk/rock fusion music. I fell in love. I went home and bought the album on Amazon and play it too much (according to my wife).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and Strange, March 23, 2006
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This review is from: Gogol Bordello /Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike (Audio CD)
This is my new favorite band since I heard them on Fungus, XMRADIO!!! I just ordered all their other cds, but you should start with this one. My friends think I am crazy, but there is something very addictive about this music. Perhaps it is causing brain damage but even without alcohol added, as recommended by Eugene Hutz, it does seem to fix most problems. Check out the web site, [...] they are on tour and see them live if you can for added impact. 'All your sanity and wits will vanish I promise, its only a matter of time'.
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Gogol Bordello /Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike
Gogol Bordello /Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike by Gogol Bordello (Audio CD - 2005)
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