Album Review: Gogol Bordello “Live from Axis Mundi”

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Band: Gogol Bordello

Album: Live From Axis Mundi

Label: SideOneDummy Records

Rating: 4/5


by Aaron Binder

Many thoughts come to mind when the name Gogol Bordello is mentioned.  They seem to be one of those bands that fall into the love/hate category, as it seems that everyone that knows them has a strong opinion.  But love them or hate them, they almost always deliver the goods in a raucous manner worthy of the gypsy-punk namesake.

Live From Axis Mundi is the latest release from this storied band – their first live offering, hopefully not their last.  The dual DVD/CD set features three different performances, the DVD taking place at Irving Square in their hometown of New York, the CD, surprisingly enough, mostly comes from BBC sessions and a couple of other odds and ends (with a very cool performance of Alcohol).  All considered, it ends up creating an even more in-depth package.

The DVD itself is exactly what one would expect as an existing fan, lead singer Eugene Hutz prancing around on stage in only the manner he can, eccentric and electric.  With most of the band giving exceptional performances, it comes as a slight disappointment that at times the audio quality is not up to snuff for such a slick package.

Even with the audio quality, the videography is wonderful.  Standards like Wanderlust King, Punk Rock Parranda and Sally, give even the most critical nay-sayer some punk for thought.  Anyone that hasn’t seen this band live yet is definitely in for a balls-to-the-wall adventure with this disc.

Ultimately, even with some audio complaints, this is a tight and energetic offering from the kings of gypsy punk.  Anyone that has ever wanted to delve into this band deeper than ever will be pleased with the incredible amount of bonus material, make-out sessions, and all-round insanity.  Even those unfamiliar with this group and their 10 years of existence will probably enjoy the uniqueness of their style and flair for music.


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