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Piroshka - Brickbat (Album Review)

Tuesday, 26 February 2019 Written by Grant Jones

Photo: Neil Stewart

Supergroups are often given a bad name—they feel like a chance for fading artists to group together and illuminate their individual talents one last time. Perhaps, cynically, they even help with a bit of PR for the original bands that each member once excelled in.

But Piroshka—comprising of Lush vocalist Miki Berenyi, and former members of Elastica, Modern English and Moose—manage to convince us that their debut LP ‘Brickbat’ is not simply the result of a collective ego-trip. It is, in fact, a fresh interpretation of their alt-rock roots with clear direction and a fertile sense of ambition.

This Is Bedlam kicks things off with an unexpected nod to stomping glam rock. It’s surprising, but sets the scene for the spontaneous leaps in tone, subject and pacing that pepper the album.

The bouncy nature of Never Enough is immediately punctuated by the bitter, mechanical ruminations of Blameless, while the plosive urgency of What’s Next is only highlighted further by the soft lamentations of Heartbeats. It is this sense of contrast, beautifully rendered, that keeps the album intriguing and contagious.

There is always the danger that records like this can feel stale, even irrelevant. ‘Brickbat’ avoids this through Berenyi’s poetic writing about the modern world. From the pointlessness of online debate, expressed on the opening track, to the hedonistic emptiness of society laid bare in Hated By The Powers That Be, a solid foot in the present is evident. Although the album deals with abject despair and the general shittiness of the world, there is a constant call to arms to interact positively with one another and make a difference.

There is a jovial mood that colours the release, suggesting the members are actually good friends enjoying each other’s company. So perhaps supergroup is an unfair label. What are bands if not a group of friends getting together and expressing themselves creatively? Here’s to more music from this simultaneously fresh and mature outfit.

Piroshka Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri March 29 2019 - MANCHESTER Soup Kitchen
Sat March 30 2019 - GLASGOW Stereo
Sun March 31 2019 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Thu April 04 2019 - LONDON London Oslo
Fri April 05 2019 - CAMBRIDGE Portland Arms
Sat April 06 2019 - BRISTOL Rough Trade Records

Click here to compare & buy Piroshka Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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