Album Reviews | The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers (2014)

Yet another indie rock act I’m coming late to the party on, the New Pornographers deliver the goods with Brill Bruisers, their sixth LP. To be frank, there are many of these types of indie rock artists I “should” be listening to (or so I’m told), and since the New Pornographers are one of them, I suppose I might as well start now. Happily, I can report that Brill Bruisers is no chore to sit through, and some of the best tracks — “Brill Bruisers,” “Backstairs,” “Another Drug Deal of the Heart,” “Dancehall Domine,” “You Tell Me Where” — transcend indie rock‘s (suspiciously commonplace) penchant for rapid down strokes on the electric guitar that often don’t accomplish much of anything. And as with most 2010s indie rock, much of this music is so hipster-certified it almost feels inauthentically cutesy to a non-hipster (which I decidedly am), but this is easy to overlook because the album is so much fun — and good. It’s sugar-rock — indie rock sweetened to the point where it becomes totally flavored with pop, made accessible with brightly colored sound.

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