Pernice Brothers: Who Will You Believe (New West) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024  

Pernice Brothers

Who Will You Believe

New West

Apr 10, 2024 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Joe Pernice is a busy man. After reviving the Pernice Brothers moniker with 2019’s excellent Spread the Feeling, Pernice became a pandemic superhero with frequent home concerts broadcast to fans on the internet alongside the release of his solo album Richard and a Barry Manilow (!) covers album Could It Be Magic, both released under his name in 2020. After signing with Nashville-based New West last year and reissuing his 1998 Pernice Brothers debut (originally on Sub Pop), Overcome by Happiness, in a deluxe box set to celebrate its 25th anniversary, he is back with a brand new Pernice Brothers studio album, his first on New West. And like just about all of his records, it’s an absolute stunner.

Stylistically, fans will be reminded of many 2001-2005 highlights from the three-album run containing The World Won’t End, Yours, Mine, and Ours, and Discover a Lovelier You (all featuring crucial guitarist Peyton Pinkerton, who returns here). They were three of the finest indie-pop albums of that entire decade and of this century with their patented mix of Elvis Costello style wordplay, New Order-style pathos, and late ’60s orchestral pop flourishes that bring to mind the best work of The Zombies and Left Banke.

There is a duet with Neko Case on the beautiful “I Don’t Need That Anymore” while wife Laura Stein coos gentle backing vocals on the haunting “Ordinary Goldmine.” “A Man of Means” even reminds this reviewer of The Who covering The Everly Brothers’ “Man with Money,” while “Hey, Guitar” is this album’s “Sometimes I Remember” or “Throw Me to the Lions,” pure bliss for fans of Pernice’s ’80s New Wave style tracks.

The album’s emotional centerpiece, however, is its stunning closer, “The Purple Rain,” a heartfelt tribute to Pernice’s late friend David Berman of Silver Jews, Purple Mountains, etc. One will be hard-pressed to hear a more beautiful tribute this entire year. And with more vinyl reissues of his back catalog and hopefully, more new music to come (given his pace, it’s a safe bet), to say that this is a great time to be a fan of Joe Pernice is a massive understatement. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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