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The New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers

At this remove from the initial revelation I can't remember why or how I first got into The New Pornographers but it more than likely was via Neko Case's early albums and the fact that it's a cool as fuck name for a band so why wouldn't you give whatever they came out with a listen?

Six albums in and having fulfilled one personal goal in seeing Case live (at last year's Le Guess Who? in Utrecht) the news that this album was coming out was extremely pleasing. Doubts it would be any good? Not on your life.

The defiantly upbeat title track sets the mood in no uncertain fashion with its brash and bombastic, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink orchestration and the band's trademark of involving backing vocals. 'Champions Of Red Wine' maintains the pace of what A.C. Newman has described as "a celebration record", albeit with the melancholic edge that results from having Neko Case & Kathryn Calder's vocals to the fore.

Newman's description of the album is wholly apt as, although never a band to (so far) release an album you could ever describe as maudlin, there is an added sense of things having fallen back into place for the participants over the course of the four years since Together came out.

And fear not - 'War On The East Coast' works far better without the dubious CGI imagery in its pre-apocalypse video.

Anyone who thinks Arcade Fire have gone off the boil could do a lot worse that re-sight and take Brill Bruisers as the starting point for a journey backwards into a full-on web of musical discovery, much like thousands did in 1988 when REM released Green and a lot of things changed for the better. 

Brill Bruisers is released on August 25 and available from amazon & iTunes.

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