Piroshka: Brickbat (Bella Union) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, December 9th, 2019  

Piroshka

Brickbat

Bella Union

Feb 15, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Piroshka immediately draw interest, not only from the curious name, taken from the wolf-terrorized hero in the Hungarian construct of the fairytale Little Red Riding Hood, but also for being what some might consider a supergroup.

If supergroup is defined as a music group whose members are part of other successful music groups, past or present, then yes, Piroshka are that. The past groups represented here are Lush (Miki Berenyi), Moose (KJ "Moose" McKillop), Elastica (Justin Welch), and Modern English (Mick Conroy). But often times the term supergroup is overused and even more often overblown. It serves to draw interest and raise expectations, but it really means nothing unless they produce super music.

Given the experience with the varied genres listed on the resumes, New Wave (Modern English), shoegaze (Lush/Moose), and post punk (Elastica), the 10 tracks on Brickbat could be a disaster if not executed properly. But while the music may not qualify as super, it is certainly no disaster and is actually quite good. A testament to gifted musicianship, capable songwriting, and a mindset to create something original.

Brickbat is not a recycling project, but rather a terrific mix of the familiar and the fresh. At times, each member's influence can be felt and each has their time to shine. The catchy and melodic tunes are comprised with the soft tones and dreaminess of shoegaze, the tartness of post punk, and the pop smarts of New Wave. But they're not immediately toe-tapping or finger-snapping catchy. This music is too intelligent for that, the hooks take time to work their way into your sub-conscious after repeated plays.

Opener "This Must Be Bedlam" gets the album off to a rousing start, blasting out of the gate with a burst of feedback before settling into a nifty groove. "Never Enough" and single "Everlasting Yours" round out the top three tracks that show off the band's ability to temper the pop grooves with gritty guitars or soaring synths. Bright melodies and bouncy rhythms grace the rest of the tracks with an occasional reflective mood or commercial playfulness and emotionally powerful lyrics, gently delivered by Berenyi's wistful pipes.

But what's mystifying is, for some intangible reason, there are no memorable hooks that leave a desperate need to be heard again. But Brickbat is a solid record teeming with marvelous musical explorations that are enjoyable while playing. (www.facebook.com/piroshkaband/)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10



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