Album Review: Gogol Bordello – ‘Transcontinental Hustle’ (American)

The same boozy, ribald, shoutalong shtick we'd expect from Gogol Bordello

It shouldn’t matter but it does. When Madonna adopted Gogol Bordello, like some photogenically saucer-eyed African toddler, as her latest musical plaything, they became perceptibly less lovable. And so their first post-Madge album is also their first to arrive without an automatic ‘Gypsy punk! Charismatic frontman! Accordions! Five out of five!’ stamp on it. As it happens, the temptation to allow their patroniser (matroniser?) in for some intrusive guest slots is resisted, and so ‘Transcontinental Hustle’ is fine and dandy, with Eugene Hutz’s breakneck folk tempered by the influence of his adopted homeland Brazil. Musically, it’s really just more of the boozy, ribald, shoutalong same, but tellingly the best moments are when Hutz reins in his mentalist troubadour shtick, on the delightful ‘Sun On My Side’ and the slow-burning, epic ‘When Universes Collide’. Generally, though, Gogol still sound like a wild pan-cultural fiesta.

Pete Cashmore

Click here to get your copy of Gogol Bordello’s ‘Transcontinental Hustle’ from the Rough Trade shop

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