The Ponzi Scheme
Released: Mar 1998
Label: Universal Motown Records Group
Think of Chicago's Firewater as Gogol Bordello's slightly older, slightly less punk brother — the one who spent a lot more time getting sneaked into strip clubs by cool Uncle Tom (Waits) and sulking to Nirvana when he got home. The Gypsy aspects of their sound are really just that: aspects, nuances, details that enhance the slinky cabaret-rock structure on which they've built their career. The Ponzi Scheme waits a good long time to go Romani 'n' roll, but they start hauling out the big guns (read: horns) 'round about "El Borracho," which retraces the polka dots between Eastern Europe and the Texas-Mexico border.