Gogol Bordello returns to wanderlust with “Walking on the Burning Coal”

“Walking on the Burning Coal” is the second single from Gogol Bordello’s upcoming album, Seekers and Finders. It’s been 4 years since a new Gogol Bordello album, and while the band tours aggressively, it’s damn good to hear a new tune from them.

Over the years, the Manhattan based Gypsy-punk outfit has proven themselves to be an endless dynamo of music and especially performances. They quite literally invented the genre with 2005’s Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike and they continue making some of the best music in it.

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The first section of “Walking on the Burning Coal” is practically mired in fog as frontman Eugene Hütz whispers in a gruff tenor, “I was walking on a cloudy morning,” over dense guitar and bass with brass ornaments flickering about behind, will-o’-the-wisps on a murky night.

Hütz’s vocals rapidly grow to defiant, punctuated shouts while in the background, shining trumpets kick up, crescendo – and then the whole band drops back down into the mist. At the bridge we’re treated to a foggy jam with a confident-as-hell trumpet solo and some vague string plucking that perfectly fits the pseudo-mystical atmosphere of the song. The end of the song ramps up into a blistering riff on the chorus.

“Walking on the Burning Coals” returns Bordello to the familiar territory of adversity. Similar to other songs in Bordello’s repertoire, the fire walk is an earthly trial that ultimately galvanizes a deeper change in character, in outlook. No doubt, the walk itself was miserable, but for Bordello, at the end we find strength and character.


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