Marvellous times here for fans of shoegaze alumni as Miki Bereni (Lush) hooks up with KJ McKillop (Moose), Modern English bassist Mick Conroy and former Elastica drummer Justin Welch is a new group which, though hard to get away from the distinct sound of Miki's vocals, offers a fresh start for all four. They explore the usual modern day concerns about news, the world and stuff.
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Well we all got temporarily excited when Lush reformed a couple of years ago but despite one rather great single there was no recorded output to speak of and it all fizzled out somewhat. But never fear! Here is Piroshka who are frontd by Lush leader Miki Berenyi and feature an assortment of Brit Pop and shoegaze luminaries amongst their line up.
Piroshka are a tougher sounding proposition than the more ethereal Lush but Miki's vocals are as distinct as ever, fighting to get heard above a sludgy the Fall-esque din on opener 'This Must Be Bedlam' and sweeping across the guitars and electronics of 'Village of the Damned'. It's a strong one two to start the album off. The latter track in particularly is a melodic surprise full of sharp hooks and a dreamy otherworldliness.
There's a modern production sheen to a lot of the album with in vogue retro-synths burbling across the mix. It sometimes makes the album sound over busy but there's no denying the power of the hooks beneath - 'Never Enough' in particular charms - it rattles along at express speed with earworms appearing at impressively regular intervals. The single 'Everlastingly Yours' comes late in the day but is worth the wait. As someone pointed out on the YouTube comments there's a pretty adventurous synth note choice in there but like much of the album the track is a melodic delight.
The album reminds me a lot of the Minor Victories album in that it consists of (dare I say) veteran musicians coming together and making a new sound away from the bands they are known for. It's not Lush mark 2 nor a follow on from Moose or Elastica or Modern English - it's a whole new vehicle. Sometimes it succeeds perfectly but there are a few tracks which don't quite come together... but you'll get that with any new band. For many fans (me included) it's just a joy to hear Miki & co making music again.
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