fri 09/12/2022

CD: Gogol Bordello - Pura Vida Conspiracy | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Gogol Bordello - Pura Vida Conspiracy

CD: Gogol Bordello - Pura Vida Conspiracy

New York gypsy punks trot out the usual flavour with the usual panache

Eugene Hutz dodges another critical bullet

It’s bemusing that Gogol Bordello are not a mainstream success story. Shouldn’t they be a new Green Day or a 21st century Pogues? When Rick Rubin signed them to his American Recordings for their last album, 2010’s Trans-Continental Hustle, which he also produced, they were surely going to supernova? No such luck. Despite the album being a riotously accessible corker, the New York gypsy punks’ usual moniker in passing media mention is still “global festival favourites”.

Their sixth album was recorded in El Paso, Texas, and, like their last one, continues to throw Hispanic flourishes into their Balkan barroom riot. Perhaps it is singer Eugene Hutz’s gutturally exaggerated singing voice that puts off a wider audience, or maybe it’s his sometimes trite lyrics. There is certainly something theatrical, even preposterous, about his style yet within the framework of fiddle, accordion and stomping hoedown, it works. It’s hard not to be even a tiny bit seduced. It’s not subtle, then, but it’s emotive and raucously enjoyable.

Pura Vida Conspiracy, ostensibly inspired by Zen ideals, is actually Gogol Bordello’s usual bawdy mosh-pit mash-up. There are quieter acoustic moments, the likeable flamenco-tinted “I Just Realised” and the not-quite-closing “We Shall Sail” (there’s a hidden track, a thrash metal pastiche, after it) but best, as ever, are huge-hearted bellow-along numbers such as “Gypsy Auto Pilot” (which is anything but) and the opening anthem, “We Rise Again”. Gogol Bordello appear to have reached a career plateau from which they look unlikely to rise any further. To all appearances, their maverick polymath frontman isn’t too bothered by this state of affairs and simply hauls his band back into action whenever he fancies. Their latest album may just be a peg for another global round of thrilling live shows, but it’s also well worth a pogo or 10 round your living room.

Part one of promo film for Pura Vida Conspiracy

There is certainly something theatrical, even preposterous, about their style yet within the framework of fiddle, accordion and stomping hoedown, it works

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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