They no longer sound like gypsies or punks but the New York gypsy punks are back with their seventh studio album. In 2005, the Gypsy Punks LP was a crossover hit with ‘Start Wearing Purple’ establishing Gogol Bordello firmly as cult favourites. The touchstones for Seekers and Finders are wide ranging American rock appropriations, like The Clash’s London Calling and The Beatles' White Album. It’s classic rock with a Ukrainian accent.
If not for Eugene Hutz’ Eurasian drawl you would find it hard to identify much of this record as Gogol Bordello. As it turns out, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Seekers and Finders present track after track from various rock subgenres and it feels like flicking through the FM dial on a road trip across the USA.
‘Walking on the Burning Coal’ could be straight from Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds' Murder Ballads. ‘Break into Your Higher Self’ and the lead single ‘Saboteur Blues’ are as close as they come to traditional Gogol Bordello as they rock hard in the style of Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti era. ‘Clearvoyance’ is a languid bossa nova take on life on the road. Imagine ‘The Girl From Ipanema’ played by Faith No More.
There’s a running theme of the healing power of dance which is stated most explicitly on the title track. 'Seekers and Finders’ asks “Which one will defeat the other?” and answers that “It’s the one that turns fight into dance”. The unifying power of dance is again addressed on ‘You Know Who We Are (Uprooted Funk)’ where they refer to themselves as "Immigrant punks".
"Aint no Gypsy Christ Superstar//We’re immigrants, darling//You know who we are!”
‘Still That Way’, which closes the album, is the perfect ending. It's a singalong, lighters or phones in the air anthem that is pure Mott the Hoople. Hutz’ “Halley Halley ho!” could easily be “Hey dudes//Where are ya?” It has the same palette-cleansing quality as ‘Train in Vain’ on the aforementioned London Calling.
We didn’t come to this album with high expectations other than to hear a few catchy choruses and some incendiary fiddle, but Gogol Bordello have blown everything else in 2017 out of the water. Watch for this on the end-of-year polls, it will top many of them. Seekers and Finders is the type of album that you thought no one made anymore and if there's any justice this will knock Ed Sheeran off his perch at the top of the charts. Classic!