‘Humorous, Gypsy styled punk’. That’s a new one even for me. But don’t panic if the thought of those genres leave you feeling a little over-whelmed, as this album works on all levels. It’s biggest selling point though should simply be that it is a thoroughly entertaining 52 minutes of music.

Gogol Bordello are a collection of musicians some of whom have literally led a gypsy, nomadic lifestyle. Lead singer Eugene Hutz was evacuated to the Ukraine after the Chernobyl disaster and then moved around eastern Europe as a refugee, until moving to New York in 1993. It’s little wonder that there are real influences of the gypsy lifestyle in some of these songs. It may also explain the exhausting touring schedules the band seem to work to. Ou on the road and famed for constant, energetic touring it is surprising the band even have time to produce album. Let alone one of this quality.

“Pura Vida Conspiracy” is Gogol Bordello’s sixth studio album. It again seems to span many musical genres but also offers moments of pure musical genius. It leads from the front with almost revolutionary tracks like “We Rise Again”. “With a fist full of heart and relics of future mama we rise again” shouts Hutz. Powerful stuff that’s played out in a typical Gogol Bordello style … up tempo drums and fantastic strings.

There are other great tunes here as well. “It is the Way You Name Your Ship” sounds like a sea shanty. It’s clever and extremely catchy. “Malandrino” sounds as though it could have come from a Pogues albums. It teases you before launching into a fantastic chorus that leaves you tapping your foot way after the song as finished. The only song that doesn’t really work for me is “I Just Realized”. It seems a little out of context with the rest of the album. Still, one bad song out of twelve can’t be bad.

Go and buy this album if only for it’s unique value. I certainly don’t have anything else quite like this in my collection

The full track listing is…

  1. We Rise Again
  2. Dig Deep Enough
  3. Malandrino
  4. Lost Innocent World
  5. It Is the Way You Name Your Ship
  6. The Other Side of Rainbow
  7. Amen
  8. I Just Realised
  9. My Gypsy Auto Pilot
  10. Hieroglyph
  11. John the Conqueror (Truth Is Always the Same)
  12. We Shall Sail

Needless to say that the band are currently touring (aren’t they always)? In the UK we’ll be able to see them in December. The dates are…

8/12 – Norwich, The Nick Rayns UEA LCR

9/12 – Bristol, O2 Academy

11/12 – Leeds, O2 Academy

13/12 – London, O2 Academy Brixton

14/12 – Manchester, Academy

15/12 – Glasgow, Academy

 

Download: We Rise Again, Dig Deep Enough and Lost Innocent World

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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