Music/Popular Culture

Tournament of Rock: Gogol Bordello vs. Epsilon-Zero

UPDATE: Epsilon-Zero fans, you better step up to the plate, because as of the moment (Tuesday morning, 8am) your band is getting poleaxed by Gogol Bordello, 89%-11%. Voting closes Thursday night, and it would be nice to see one of my favorite darkpop bands at least make a run at it between now and then.


In last week’s Match #3 face-off between Brit wunderkins, Paul Steel defeated Adele by a tally of 60%-40%. Thanks to those who listened and voted. Steel moves on to round 2 where he will face the winner of this week’s match.

That match represents perhaps the biggest clash of styles in all of round 1. Up first, New York Immigrant Diaspora/Gypsy Punkers Gogol Bordello.

Listen: MySpace / Lala / Last.FM

Their opponents, hailing from Los Angeles, the beautiful rage of Epsilon-Zero. (We’ll include frontman Jamison Boaz’s solo work in this, since they’re so closely intertwined.)

Listen: MySpace / Last.FM / Last.FM (JB)

If you would, give each artist a listen and then use this poll to tell us which you prefer.

<br /> <a href=”” mce_href=””>Who do you think is the best band in this round of the Tournament of Rock?</a><span style=”font-size:9px;” mce_style=”font-size:9px;”>(<a href=”” mce_href=””>online surveys</a>)</span><br />

The current, updated bracket looks like this:

9 replies »

  1. This is a real easy one for me. I like Gogol. They’re quirky, maybe even gimmicky, but I remember the songs. It could just be the Eastern European roots coming out in me, but you got to love that accordion, and that time signature. The other band just sounds like so many things I’ve heard before. They got good pop arrangements, and good vocal chops, but it just doesn’t stand out to me. Also they/the mix engineer got kinda happy with the panning of the synth, I know it’s tough not to go from left to right and back again, but please just leave it alone.

    Sam you may have noticed that I tried to ad some positive comments despite not liking the band, I’ve matured.

  2. You HAVE matured. And in less than a week. By December you’ll be John Lennon and Gandhi rolled into one hyper-enlightened package.

  3. Weird vs. zzzzzzzzzzzz.

    E-0 seems to have lost a little of their edge since 2003, based on what’s on their Myspace page. Sometimes they go a bit too…”pop,” for lack of a better word… And that whole death-voice thing in that first track is just annoying. I have to say the best parts of most of their songs is when the the lead singer isn’t singing. It’s not that he can’t sing. It just doesn’t work with the rest of it. It’s not “big” enough. Which might be why he’s trying the death-voice thing here and there, I don’t know. The programming and guitars ain’t bad in places, though.

    Gogol…I don’t even know what to say. It’s just plain fucking weird. But some of it is actually really interesting. I was kinda put off at first, cause I started thinking it was a weird al cover band. But the more I listened to it, the more I liked it. Seems like they’d be a great band to see live while drinking lots of beer.

  4. Gogol for me, but i knew them before the ToR. My grandfather (Detroit Polka scion that he was) would have been overjoyed to hear that some of the kids are listening to music with accordion. I suppose that some of Gogol (the time signature) takes me back to getting hauled to what seemed like every Polish festival in metro Detroit. Damned hard to shake those Slavic roots.

    They also remind me of Russia, generally. The first time i heard them i thought they sounded a little like Chaif…but i think it’s just the Slavic folk-music crossed with rock.

    Ubertramp, anything Slavic requires drinking lots of whatever your poison is…

  5. Epsilon Zero too ordinary for industrial or death metal. Gogol Bordello: Borat does the Pogues. Kind of a novelty act, but I voted for it.

    Lex, I’m a stone modern-polka freak. But I don’t know any names. I can’t find a website that directs me to the best of modern polka, or a web radio station. Know of any?

  6. Russ, i’ve been out of the polka loop for too long to offer any suggestions…so long that i didn’t even know “modern-polka” was genre (but i’m intrigued, very intrigued).

  7. I thought I would not like either…

    Gogol Bordello sent my five year old spinning round the room and me smiling.

    Epsilon Zero kept throwing up Jeffrey Dean Foster (another artist I owe you for) on and so I listened on the other link.

    Voting turned out to be difficult and as Depeche Mode has a mention for EZ they nearly got my vote. In the end was persuaded by my daughter so GB gets my vote. EZ in the end was way to heavy for me. Peace of Mind was very enjoyable though.

    Tend to concur with the Pogues Borat bent comment but my Irish blood responds to Eastern Europe sympathetically.

    Have you got some music with a hint of Zorba? 😉