Pete Fij and Terry Bickers: Broken Heart Surgery

(Some of this will appear in the next issue of The Big Takeover).

Coventry, England’s Adorable were one of the best bands of the early nineties, releasing two stellar albums on Creation Records: Against Perfection (1993) and Fake (1994). Unfairly lumped in with the so-called shoegazer scene, Adorable were anything but timid lads staring down on the floor, especially live. Their brand of noisy guitar pop band brought to mind legends like Echo and the Bunnymen and the Jesus and Mary Chain; crushing songs with exceptional songwriting. Frontman Piotr Fijalkowski’s (AKA Pete Fij) lyrics read like excerpts from noir films or novels. Just take one listen to “Road Movie” and you’ll see what I mean. Adorable broke up in 1995 and Pete went on to form a new group Polak with his brother Kris (ex-Bardots) and would go on to release several great albums, the last one being Rubbernecking in 2002.

Some twelve years in the making, Broken Heart Surgery is Pete’s long-awaited collaboration with guitarist Terry Bickers (House of Love). The duo impresses on this raw, stripped down album, which documents the breakdown of a relationship in a brutally honest and, at times, humorous fashion. One can’t help but chuckle on “Out of Time” when Pete laments, “You send me emails and send me texts, you know I can’t connect – I’m not a techno-lover.” Other highlights include “Betty Ford” with its clever word play comparing love to drug addiction (“And Hope, it’s more addictive than coke”), the poignant single “Downsizing,” and the gorgeous “Parallel Girl,” where Pete pines for the one who got away backed by an orchestrated arrangement worthy of John Barry.
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