Seekers and Finders
Gogol Bordello, the gypsy-punk masters of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, are back for the first time in four long years with Seekers and Finders. Well, they never actually went away, but as their popularity has grown, so has their touring schedule. Even from their earliest days, their live shows have been considered legendary, and more like wild parties than mere concerts. The party feels a bit like it’s been scaled back though on Seekers and Finders.
Frontman, Eugene Hütz, is as charismatic as always, but the dynamic has changed in some way. This could easily be attributed to the addition of several new band members as this is the first release without the presence of longtime accordionist, Yuri Lemeshev. Don’t get me wrong, this is far from a bad thing. Sometimes fresh blood can reinvigorate a band and that’s exactly what it sounds like on the album’s standout opening track, “Did It All.” It kicks things off with the energetic madness fans have come to love for close to twenty years now.
The overall tone of this release is more sedated showing that Eugene and Co. have further matured as people and musicians. Matters of a more adult nature are no stranger to the band, but you can’t help but pay extra attention when they slow down to get a bit more contemplative. They accomplish this on such tracks as “Clearvoyance,” and the title-track featuring Regina Spektor.
It has some nice moments, but Seekers and Finders is far from Gogol Bordello’s best album. In the past their releases almost sounded like the band met in a room with nothing previously written, someone hit record, and they improvised their magic on the spot.
The first time I felt like that kind of mood was no longer there was a couple of releases ago on, Trans-Continental Hustle. That’s not to say Seekers and Finders isn’t a fine album on its own. It just doesn’t hold up as well to the band’s back catalog. The good news is that this is a very accessible album that could serve as a nice introduction for new listeners. For longtime fans, if you need your Gogol Bordello fix but aren’t somewhere that you can dance on a table and perhaps smash some dishes, this is also the album for you.