Pernice Brothers : World won’t end, The

Pernice Brothers : World won't end, The

Score

Bittersweet travels in lo-fi country

NAM vs nu-metal? Napa vs Beeefa? Squarepusher vs Starsailor?

New York vs The Rest Of The World? Yadda yadda yadda. Instead, we refer you to The Pernice Brothers’ ‘The World Won’t End’, an 11-track moment

of clarity that, by bringing instruments and melodies together in (remarkably lush) harmony, renders such arguments irrelevant. Well, for 40 minutes

at least.

Fifteen people contribute to The Pernice Brothers’ second album, but ex-Scud Mountain Boy Joe Pernice is the sun around which the whole project orbits. A gifted pop classicist, his pithy songs – imagine a cranked-up Teenage Fanclub – are slathered in sunburnt harmonies, inspirational string arrangements and a keen sense of pathos.

[I]”I can’t take her love as your memory drifts in like a samba”[/I], sighs Pernice, amid the heartfelt whimsy of ‘Cronulla Breakdown’. That line alone justifies the reproduction of his lyrics on the sleeve. ‘Flaming Wreck’ is a funny, fatalistic take on the fear of flying, while ‘Working Girls’ evokes the [I]”sullen”[/I] dissatisfaction of adolescence with brilliant clarity.

The myth about great pop is that it’s disposable. In fact, as Joe Pernice proves, great pop transforms real-life into something extraordinary.

Tony Naylor