THE BELLE BRI­GADE Just Be­cause ATO Records ★★★★

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - TONY CLAYTON-LEA

Mu­si­cal genes aside (the grandad of sib­lings Bar­bara and Ethan Gruska is leg­endary sound­track com­poser John Wil­liams), you’d swear blind over a few tracks that Belle Bri­gade is Rilo Ki­ley in a dif­fer­ent guise, rather than a newish US band proudly thrust­ing their sec­ond al­bum to­wards you. Sure, there are ob­vi­ous con­nec­tions – Bar­bara Gruska has drummed with Jenny Lewis, Rilo Ki­ley’s for­mer lead vo­cal­ist. But there’s also an over­rid­ing sense of bril­liance via West Coast pop songs as clearly de­fined as Not the One You Want,

Be Like Him and Miss You in My Life. There’s also a co­her­ence in the lyrics that rings true, with themes of dis­sat­is­fac­tion (When Ev­ery­thing Was What It Was),

de­pres­sion (Likely to Use Some­thing) and satire (Be Like Him) weav­ing their way across the al­bum’s brief but pop-groovy du­ra­tion. the­belle­bri­

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