Swirling Sweetly About Pop Potency: The New Pornographers, Together.

The New Pornographers, amidst the hustle and bustle of LP mk.V, don’t have all that many call cards to mysteriously dot about clandestinely in phone booths these days, so stratospherically has their indie starlight ascended. Few acts patch up the bitter resentments and prejudices harboured around and beyond the United States-Canadian border, yet The New Pornographers let bygones be bygones and sew together the incomparably immeasurable alt. credibility of Canada and the off-kilter artistry of East Coast America, throwing up a snug quilt of cockle-warming songsmithery and an authenticity far greater than most products constructed contemporarily of stars and stripes.

Batting names such as Husker Dü, Spoon, and Wilco towards The New Pornographers has become common-place, given the power-pop tendencies of the collective. Although Together brandishes a seething blade more blood-thirsty than a school of piranhas in a Bolton boxing ring that unapologetically cuts through even the most sentimental sects of the record, as Your Hands (Together) slices and dices the schmaltzy duet, Silver Jenny Dollar, that proceeds it. The Dust Bowl drawl of Neko Case, transposed against the unwaveringly resolute deadpan delivery of A.C. Newman is as ebullient as ever, as Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk lollops buoyantly through an outback of blustering strings and early Noughties Manic Street Preachers chord progressions. Opener Moves emulates immaculately a romp between Ray Davies and Grizzly Bear’s Two Weeks in the back of a Cadillac rolling around the Nevada desert, My Shepherd is as humbling a listen as the bleating emanating from a flock of lambs destined for the slaughterhouse, before flourishing in a belated flurry of brass and Crash Years, dolled up to the nines with boy scout whistles, swooning chorus and gushing melancholic triumph, to all extensive purposes, puts the power back in power-pop. Together unfortunately does tail off in the dying stages, like Bruce Willis burning it off the cliffs surrounding Lake Ontario in a muscle car yet where If You Can’t See My Mirrors reflects a Stars and Sons sheen, let power be to the humble, the humbled and the helplessly wonderful.