While I try to avoid reviewing albums I dislike, sometimes it needs to happen to warn the masses and longtime fans. It’s not often I use the phrase “utter shit” to describe a band or album but here I am typing while listening to Gogol Bordello’s latest, Pure Vida Conspiracy. To say this band has lost it somewhere along the way would be an understatement. They’ve lost members. They’ve lost their edge. They’ve lost that magic. A gang of gypsy punks once, maybe, are now reduced to producing music that’s a shadow of what it used to be.
In all fairness, PVC is definitely trying to recapture that magic. Just listen to the start/stop of “Dig Deep Enough” or even the rockin’ anthem “We Rise Again” which opens the album. They’re not bad songs by any means but this polished corporate sheen that’s now filtered its way into everything that Gogol do just taints everything. A song that’s as “loose” as “Lost Innocent World” is one that I’m sure was meticulously gone over with a fine tooth comb to insure that every cymbal crash sounded exactly the same.
Blame Rick Rubin. Blame Eugene Hutz. All I’m saying is that this is not the same band that produced the infinitely better Super Taranta! back in 2007. If you were into Trans-Continental Hustle then PVC is gonna do you just fine. If you want the GB of 2007 and before, then you might want to find a new favorite band.
Pure Vida Conspiracy is out on July 23rd through ATO Records. If this didn’t dissuade you, then you can find your own copy here.
Grade: G (For “Garbage”)