The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers

Album Review by Chris Buckle | 06 Aug 2014
Album title: Brill Bruisers
Artist: The New Pornographers
Label: Matador Records
Release date: 25 Aug

Perhaps it’s just the afterglow imparted by the pristine, peppy power-pop that’s been their stock in trade for the last 15 years, but life in The New Pornographers has always seemed like a pretty liberating pastime; a chance for A.C. Newman, Dan Bejar, Neko Case and company to put aside creatively taxing solo ventures and kick loose with something sweet and simple.

Except, of course, sweet and simple doesn’t just fall in your lap; ‘effortless’ takes effort, and crafting melodies as perfectly proportioned and catchy as those driving Brill Bruisers is an estimable achievement (as is making it to album six without noticeable lassitude). Dopamine triggers are numerous: right at the top, the title track’s lively pace and cheerful backing ‘ba-ba-ba’s set a heady benchmark, while the infectious chorus of Fantasy Fools delivers a slick, quintessential NP vocal harmony, comparing favourably with anything from their still-vibrant debut Mass Romantic.