Gogol Bordello

East Infection
(Rubric EP)

If you think the theme of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll has been played out, a single listen to Gogol Bordello will restore your faith in the power of music to jolt you out of complacency. Gogol's lead singer, songwriter and chief maniac, Eugene Hutz, and his cohorts continue their cultural crusade to build a bridge between Gypsy stomp, rock, reggae and other brands of rebel music, from flamenco to the perestroika punk that blossomed in Eastern Europe in the mid-'80s, with a six-song EP brimming with their special brand of post-punk insanity. Highlights include "Avenue B," a visit to a Ukrainian bathhouse where immigrants engage in a political discussion that blends tango, rap, reggae and swooning Gypsy accordion music to make its internationalist point, and "Mala Vida," a tune by Mano Chao, a French/Spanish rocker with an outlook as universal as Hutz's. It's a blistering jolt of Gypsy punk rock accented by an agitated flamenco guitar break.

 
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