It was once posited that there could have been an alternate history of pop music, where Big Star’s power-pop was a commercial hit and defined what was to follow. That alternate reality is actually very much here, with present day power-pop successes like The New Pornographers. The Vancouver collective/super-group get back together on Brill Bruisers, which brings the power-pop you have been looking for.
A group that includes such solo heavy-hitters as A.C. Newman (QRO solo album review), Dan Bejar (a.k.a. Destroyer – QRO solo album review), and Neko Case (QRO solo live review), all those other projects have meant it’s been four years since the last New Pornographers release, Together (QRO review), but the band hasn’t lost their touch. “Brill Bruisers” opens the eponymous record with a finely big power-pop statement, sentiment that is carried on in such tracks as “Fantasy Fools”, “War On the East Coast”, “Dancehall Domine”, and big finish “You Tell Me Where”. However, Brill isn’t just about brightness, like with the interestingly different “Backstairs”, a darker, more synth-heavy piece, or the relaxed and airy “Hi-Rise”
Brill Bruisers doesn’t reinvent The New Pornographers sound like Challengers did (QRO review), or reestablish it like Together – it’s just that great power-pop that you’ve been looking for, in this world or any other.