Midnight. A ship sets sail on the Black Sea, penetrating between a narrow gap at port in Istanbul, slicing the across hellish waters of the Mediterranean, coasting along the international surf of the Atlantic, on course for a new land of fresh beginnings on Ellis Island. In the cacophonous abdomen of this plundering mass resides a festive celebration of ancient amentia pub marauders in soignÃ©e wardrobes of silk gowns and pointed shoes, drunk to the gills on cheap vodka and rich life. Amongst these unbalanced nomads are the lasting remains of Russian short story writer and novelist Nikolai Gogol and his trunk of Ukrainian teachings, recipes, keepsakes, and indestructible fearlessness which made him such a tremendous target of controversy in the mid-1850s when he smuggled outlawed works into the European literary society. These specters and scriptures act as the principal influence on a lucent gang of bodacious bandits who respectfully inherited the ceremonious spirit of their exciting ancestors to form in 1999 as New York City gypsy-punk animals Gogol Bordello.
Gogol Bordello can make even death row inmates feel good about life. It's harder than hell to listen without kicking my feet into the air like Russian high steppers or whatever the hell Andrew W.K. does. The devastating bonfire on GB's second album for SideOneDummy, Super Taranta!, is the result of The Pogues, masked in the playful theatrics of The Decemberists, lifting The Clash's gear and pawning it to the junk sick Stooges who poured gasoline into the pit with the mayor of Mypos himself Balki Bartokomous lighting the fuse.
"Ultimate" begins with singer/acousticguitar maniac Eugene HÃ¼tz giving a heavily accented monologue that barks out for the dogs with panting tongues and meat thirsty teeth to lead this chaotic sled on a hunt between the backstreets of the Bowery with Bill The Butcher cracking the whip. Heeyah. Mosh. Onward and Upward. The mid-break down, with befuddling drums and arousing accordion flare, is enough to send every neck in the nationwide sector to the chiropractor for the next six months. My head and neck bobbed back and forth like I was blowing the whole football team. Oh high school, I'll never forget you.
Speaking of firsts, I remember the first time that I caught a clear shot of HÃ¼tz on the highly recommended hardcore dvd Kill Your Idols. As he appeared to resemble SNL's third "wild and crazy guy," wearing a smutty black mustache and red leather jacket like Michael freakin Jackson, drinking a barrel of Heineken and spouting off at the mouth like an intoxicated version of the chain smoking hooligan from Trainspotting known as Francis Begbie, HÃ¼tz possessed the most bountiful and beautiful energy of any punk interviewed. Eugene wasn't as menacing as Rotten nor did he appear to be a downer brain splatterer like Kurt. On the scale of hardcore hounds, heavyweighters Rollins, MacKeye or H.R. could realistically still pound a mountain of fatal neurosis down the esophagus of any circle pit poser, but HÃ¼tz's formidable gaiety brought back mosher-iffic memories of when the great American hardcore movement was air kicking and wind milling like a straight edge son-of-a-bitch.
HÃ¼tz and his gaggle of wildcards joyfully jab at everything from supermodels to the bible in this virile brothel of all night enjoyment. After the fourth song, "Supertheory Of Supereverything" my body felt like the shaky aftershocks of a humpy weekend in Vegas baby Vegas, where the strippers aren't free as the drinks, but are just as watered down.
Throughout the listen I began to smoke dope and crack open a Heineken of my own, applying a fake pervy mustache and mumbling foreign threats to the gawking neighbors below on Bellevue Avenue in a thick Ukraine accent, like my main bro HÃ¼tz. I will gladly spread the gospel of Super Taranta! and attempt to accurately capture the freezing apex on its reckless closer, to my buds and chicks and even my parents who all will get a kick out of this sideshow attraction of main stage talent. I applaud their diversity and adore their lionhearted jubilance. Ultimately, the old man that I am now became snoozier than a foul dose of Thanksgiving tryptophan.
"American Wedding" made me realize how irritable grandparents feel at extravagant family functions. I pictured myself as a golden oldie who enjoys funnin around in expensive apparel for an easy afternoon of free gourmet food and quick foot shuffling. But after a while I found myself sinking slipping crashing, once the heavy lipstick kisses were smacked and blinding eye bulbs flashed, as the screaming children continued to rub their untarnished youth in my wrinkled old face, I slowly drifted back, thought way back, to a magical and mystical time around midnight when a ship set sail off the Ukrainian coast of the Black Sea.