0 4 min 1 yr

A machine gun barrage of musical firepower comes together to raise money for wounded Ukrainian fighters. The result is a face peeling head banger title “United Fight Back”. Ukrainian front man Eugene Hütz of Gogol Bordello has brought together some of the biggest and baddest names in punk and metal – Tre Cool (Green Day), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Joe Lally (Fugazi, The Messthetics), Roger Miret (Agnostic Front), Monte Pittman (Ministry), Sasha (Kazka) and Puzzled Panther. The track was released on Hütz’s own label, Casa Gogol, and it sets its sights on a conflict that is having worldwide repercussions and costing untold numbers of lives.

“United Fight Back” is no uplifting war chant, it is no heart-rending musical plea, and one does not need to look for any hidden meanings within the lyrics. Opening with a combination of Ukrainian and English in the style of call to action, the song immediately segues into carpet bombing the listener with shredding guitar work and blasting drums. The vocals are raw, angry, and bleed a passionate power into the very blunt, emotionally charged lyrics that fire ceaselessly, with plenty of in-your-face profanity – definitely a NSFW track. This is not a criticism, merely an observation of how the lyrics are portraying the visceral reactions of those involved in the fight. No lies, no apologies, no pity, no pleading – indeed many of the words carry a heavy burden of warning – that a people united in purpose can stop, must stop, and will stop the invading forces. From beginning to end the track alternates between blistering male vocals and undefeatable female vocals, while maintaining a frenetic, relentless energy.

The anti-imperialist and anti-dictatorial regime principles of the collaboration are evident in lines such as “That’s the way your palace crumbles, that’s the way house of cards crumbles, that’s the way dictator story ends,” while comparing the wealth and power of the leaders of the invading forces to drug addicts who are “high on their own supply.” The lyric “They are always around, until it’s time to fight for freedom, they are nowhere to be found” contains choice words before and after calling out the hypocrisy of those the artists feel have been derelict of duty in delivering on big words and promises when the time to act is here. There is however no feeling of resignation to having to take up arms, there is only an unrelenting show of force and persistent resilience. These are the voices of the people who will not only hold the line, but take back what is theirs, as long as they stand as one. No white flags, no ceasefires, only indomitable resolve of an entire nation.

Not a shot from the hip, nor a scattershot offering, “United Fight Back” gives a firm and decisive voice to those fighting on ground. It is precise, sniper level targeting at the issues and the anger, while bringing in the musical “big guns” to drive home the message of a people who refuse to accept defeat. The proceeds from the track will be given to “Kind Deeds”, a charitable organization helping outfit the wounded Ukrainians with mobility and prosthetic devices.

Grade: B

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