The Miki Berenyi led indie “supergroup” Piroshka returns with their second album, Love Drips and Gathers, named after a Dylan Thomas poem. The sweetly sung “Scratching at the Lid” belies the message of trying to get out of a coffin as it is lowered into the ground. A screeching guitar announces the introduction of “Wanderlust” that eventually gives away to a poppy swing of a chorus.
Guitarist KJ ‘Moose’ McKillop writes memory snippets of his mother on “Hastings 1973” while “V.O.” pays tribute to Vaughn Oliver who was the in-house art director at 4AD. Where the album suffers at times is in the simplistic lyrics of tracks like “The Knife Thrower’s Daughter” and the album starts to run out of steam towards the end, closing with the moody electronica of “We Told You”. Still, for certain fans, listening to Miki sing is worth the price of admission and over the course of two albums, this mature group shows plenty of fiery flashes.
A few months ago, if someone had said that an album on the state of the world from former Brit Poppers was going to be one of the best releases of the year thus far, I would have been skeptical at best… but here we are. From the ashes of the Lush reunion comes the new project from Miki Berenyi. Joining forces with her partner KJ McKillop, Elastica’s Justin Welch and Modern English’s Mick Conroy, the band released first single “Everlastingly Yours” last November and the debut album followed in February. Berenyi’s voice is as distinctive as ever and while there are clearly shoegaze elements on this release, it is not rooted in nostalgia.
In the 90s, the emotional lyrics were about drinking and relationships but here Piroshka come out firing with political lyrics that claim “I take what’s yours and I’m not going to stop” and declare that “nobody here ever escapes with no blood on their hands”. One of the best songs here, “Hated By The Powers That Be”, turns the simple “I am love” lyric into “and you should feel as proud as me because we are love and we’re hated by the powers that be”.
“Village of The Damned”
about school yard shootings is somehow breezy in the weight of its subject
matter and in “Everlastingly Yours” features a nice bit of Welch working the
hi-hat. The ballads “Blameless” and “Heartbeats”
are the two that most sound like Lush at their quieter moments. Brickbat
is a timely release that has its full eyes and hearts on the here and now.