Gogol Bordello, Pure Vida Conspiracy

Andrew Mueller

By Andrew Mueller

on 07.23.13 in Reviews

From the first notes of the surging opening fanfare “We Rise Again,” Pure Vida Conspiracy fulfills every expectation that one might harbor of a Gogol Bordello album, which is to say that it would not be altogether surprising for any given track to be abruptly interrupted by a visit from the riot police. “We Rise Again” is a delirious, joyful cacophony even by the group’s standards, and the pace it sets rarely drops.

A welcome addition to a catalog that’s becoming a genre unto itself

The distinguishing aspect of this album is Gogol Bordello frontman Eugene Hutz’s determination to bring the influences of his adopted homeland of Brazil to bear upon the Ukrainian folk that animated the group in the first place. This is most apparent on tracks like the giddy “Malandrino,” which recalls the occasional Latinate excursions of The Pogues, and in the flamenco flourishes which decorate the roistering sea shanty “Name Your Ship”. Elsewhere, ever, things proceed apace, and Pure Vida Conspiracy is another welcome addition to a catalog that is becoming a genre unto itself.