Immigrants imagine the future and invent a new rock language
"There were never any good old days/They are today, they are tomorrow/It's a stupid thing we say/Cursing tomorrow with sorrow." So swears "Ultimate," the smartest song Gogol Bordello have ever recorded and the smartest song anyone will release this year. It rocks in its own language - a defiantly oversimplified gypsy stomp played loud and then double-timed by a Russian violinist, a Russian accordionist, an Israeli guitarist, an Ethiopian bassist and an American drummer. And its optimism of the will makes the futures imagined by competing alt-prophets seem weak-minded. Having kicked off in high, Super Taranta! soars for three songs before settling in to a depth-charged, raucously quotable musical and philosophical groove. Then it roars back with the hungover yet still besotted "Alcohol," the matter-of-factly unpatriotic "Your Country" and an "American Wedding" that appalls Eugene Hutz by ending. It's an explosive album by a band whose shows wow orgiasts from Seattle to Kiev. Nominally based in Brooklyn, Hutz and his cohort fuse gypsy statelessness and rock-bohemian wanderlust for a restive world citizenry uprooted by war and capital. If you're not an immigrant, they hint, you're lucky, but you also don't know what it is to be alive. So you're doubly lucky that Gogol Bordello have figured out how to tell you.
Rolling Stone, Aug. 9, 2007