Pura Vida Conspiracy

"Borders are the scars on face of the planet," Ukrainian-born singer Eugene Hütz exclaims on his band's sixth album. That's been Gogol's philosophy for a decade, as they've mixed gypsy folk, punk rock and other global-pop strains with all-inclusive rabble-rousing politics. There's a Spanish rap on "We Rise Again," while "Dig Deep Enough" sets Russian fiddles and distorted guitars against a reggae pulse. Gogol are best when Hütz lyrically nuances the roiling energy; on "My Gypsy Auto Pilot," he goes back to Ukraine to find that he's a stranger in his old hometown. Thankfully, alienation just gives him another reason to rock out.

From The Archives Issue 1188: August 1, 2013