Gogol Bordello | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Gogol Bordello 

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With their third full-length, Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike (Side One Dummy), these New Yorkers have finally come close to capturing the manic, relentless energy of their live show. (The parts of the show you can hear, anyway--you've still got to see them to appreciate Eugene Hutz's bug-eyed Iggy Pop mugging and cavalier indifference to bodily harm, or the lurid thrift-store costumes on the two troublemaking women who flank him onstage.) The new record, engineered by Steve Albini, makes it clear that Gogol Bordello is a punk band at heart, despite the lusty folk-dance fiddling, fluid accordion, and occasional descents into dub: the eastern European rhythms are amped to jackhammer intensity, and the music is dominated by stomping drums and slashing guitar. (You also get songs like "Think Locally, Fuck Globally," which refines the definition of punk activism.) Hutz's vocals--from throat-shredding yowls to Ukrainian-accented speak-singing--have always been front and center, but now he sounds as overwhelming on disc as he is in person. I sometimes miss the balance of the earlier albums, where the Gypsy elements were more than just dashes of exotic flavor, but the band's unhinged onstage assault makes niceties like that irrelevant. Flogging Molly headlines and Throw Rag opens. Sat 8/13, 7 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 773-472-0449 or 312-559-1212, $21.

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