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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Piroshka January 23, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Always really liked Lush, particularly their early EPs. And their reunion in the mid 2010s was admirable in its brevity. They did exactly what they said they would – released another excellent EP, toured the US and then… stopped. But I was surprised late last year to learn that a sort of shoegaze/postpunk supergroup had emerged from that with Miki Berenyi of Lush, Modern English bassist Mick Conroy, Moose guitarist KJ McKillop and Elastica drummer Justin Welch. Yet again it points to the impossibility of keeping up with musical developments in a time of multiple platforms and means of communication. There’s just too much to keep track of.

Anyhow the album “Brickbat” is pretty stellar stuff – a poppy (and/or melodic) excursion, but with an interesting edge, positioned well aways from shoe gaze towards a clearer but layered instrumentation – albeit with intriguing additions of brass and hints of electronica here and there. In other words this is no retread of the past of any of the groups those involved were members of. And all the stronger for it. And indeed this is no disappointment, allowing the album to have a character all its own

So pop, albeit a skewed sort of pop at that. What’s Next has a dancey beat behind it, but the instrumentation swells in unexpectedly noisy directions and the songs as a whole aren’t slow moving (the more ballad-like Everlastingly Yours has a string/keyboard line that is particularly fine and that propels it along at a fair old pace). Lyrically it’s sharp and as McKillop notes ‘All the members of the band, we’re quite politically engaged…to be honest, I am a socialist and everything for me is political. It’s how I engage with the world‘ and this is reflected in the album, with tracks like This Must Be Bedlam riffing on Brexit and the state of things in the UK 2019, Never Enough attacking consumption and greed and Everlastingly Yours examining relationships and religion.

Lush were always an avowedly feminist group and so are Piroshki and the album seems to me to be both absolutely contemporary and yet also positioned within an almost 1980s (pre-shoegaze) post-punk area. I’m reminded of the Banshees and the Slits and Delta 5. This is not to say the sound is the same, but there’s a commonality of approach there. Perhaps this is simply a function of the group’s willingness to use a broad musical palette, but whatever the reason the outcome is oddly refreshing.

So a real success and talk of another album too…

This Must Be Bedlam

Village of the Damned

What’s Next

Never Enough

Everlastingly Yours

This Must Be Bedlam (Live on KEXP).


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