The Pieces

The Pieces

The Pieces

Benchmark

My initial impression of the Pieces’ self-titled debut was that it is just another band among the billions of power-poppers out there, with added weight on the “pop” part, playing through a fine if rather uncharacteristic set of songs. Silly me. The Pieces eventually revealed itself to be an album of unusually impressive songwriting, carefully performed by a tightly interlocked trio, with each member contributing an unique touch to the music.

It’s an understated but far from modest or polite album, revealing psychedelic textures incorporated into the seamless minimalist pop approach. Jagged angles are off-set by the arrangements’ considered impact, crooner pop sliding up alongside neat touches of 1970s soul funk, doo-wop standing next to college radio melodies and unashamed heart-throbbing sentiments easing next up to carefree, overblown big band-isms. Bassist and co-vocalist Heidi Gluck plays with Juliana Hatfield in Some Girls, a musical heritage clearly apparent here, as well as the one with Evan Dando, with whom they’re touring this spring.

Honestly, there is not a bad track on this 35 minute long set. In fact, the first single, “The Wait,” is the album’s least impressive moment, which is probably a good sign. It’s an album brimming over with ideas, with every new song adding something to the full picture. Probably as close to a fully realized power-pop debut as you’re ever going to come, The Pieces is the perfect album to take you through the upcoming seasons — and well beyond.

Benchmark Records: http://www.benchmarkrecords.com/

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