Piroshka – Brickbat
Featuring members of Lush, Piroshka's debut is a sparky and genre-spanning showcase of songcraft and ambition
Much to admire here from the Miki Berenyi-fronted outfit whose musical heritage has encouraged enough lazy commentary to almost detract from the quality of this, their genuinely exceptional debut. Few drawn to Brickbat will struggle to place Brit indie stalwarts KJ 'Moose' McKillop (Moose), Mick Conroy (the shamefully undervalued Modern English) and Justin Welch (Elastica). Indeed, most will know Conroy and Welch for their pivotal contribution to the sadly short-lived recent Lush reunion, which is where the latter persuaded Berenyi that there might finally be a new vehicle for her unique talents sat right under her nose.
Hoorah, then, that that brief foray gave her the confidence to continue, for Brickbat is never less than a delight: a sparky and genre-spanning showcase of songcraft and ambition. Lovingly rendered, a clean mix allows its often lavish arrangements to soar. From the scuzzy stomp of This Must Be Bedlam to epic centrepiece Hated By The Powers That Be, its socio-political watchfulness is a bracing tonic. A minor key wistfulness (Everlastingly Yours, Heartbeats) recalls the understated grandeur of Saint Etienne and Dubstar.
Berenyi, ever a bullshit-free zone, gasped "It’s like running a fucking marathon" as she caught her breath at the Lush Roundhouse shows a couple of years ago. She couldn’t possibly have known just how prescient those words were. Brimming with energy, these kids wouldn’t know a midlife crisis if it slapped them in the face with their chorus pedals. Here’s to those with the guts to handle the long haul. Roll on album number two.
Listen to: Hated By The Powers That Be, She's Unreal