After 15 years of making music, The New Pornographers should have finally shed the tag of supergroup or side project. AC Newman and his crew of pop aficionados have lead the charge of respected melody makers over the past decade. Their sixth album, Brill Bruisers, continues this foot tapping tradition.
Newman says that Brill Bruisers is a celebration record and nothing in his life is currently dragging him down. The New Pornographers have never been a band who sound like they are wallowing so how this newfound bliss translates to Newman’s writing isn’t evidently clear on first listen. What is obvious is that Newman and his cohorts have a penchant for sci-fi sounding sythns and a brisk chorus on this outing.
While Newman has always been the driving force, it is Dan Bejar who has offered the more interesting point of difference on New Pornographers records. His first foray on Brill Bruisers is the chugging pop delight of War On The East Coast where he writes a tune so catchy that he manages to beat Newman at his own game. The pristine voices of Neko Case and Kathryn Calder again shine when leading songs such as Marching Orders and Another Drug Deal Of The Heart.
Brill Bruisers is another dozen or so spritely tunes with choruses you’ll be waking up singing. The New Pornographers never shy too far away from their winning formula, but with the players at their disposal there is no need to.