Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Rating: ****** (6/10)
I have to say, the new album from Brilliant Colors, out today, was pretty disappointing. I'd heard a few promising songs and a few promising recommendations from other folks. Not that it's reasonable to expect much from a DIY, fuzzy indie pop band these days - you can hardly throw a rock without hitting one (though why you wouldn't want to hit one with a rock is a mystery to me).
San Fransisco's all-female trio Brilliant Colors is a late-comer to the movement, and though it's clear they want to be sorta punk, they are a pretty far cry from their real punk counterparts. That's not a huge surprise - after all, this album is on the indie pop label Slumberland, not one of its its punkier sisters like Siltbreeze, Woodsist or In the Red. It's ok to not be punk, but here, the lack of aggression makes the album kind of bland. There's certainly no flares of joy or sadness, let alone anger or mania.
The album isn't bad, and if you're into fuzzy little pop songs, it's not a bad addition to your collection. Most of the songs are well-written. Still, I'd rank this well below the Manhattan Love Suicides' Burnt Out Landscapes or even Cause Co-Motion's It's Time!, both like-minded releases. The one thing that makes Brilliant Colors slightly distinct from such peers is that the vocals draw a little more from ROCK'N'ROLL, rather thank punk. Most indie pop uses the basic Ramones model for melodies, but Brilliant Colors let loose more aaaah-eeeiy-aaah's and oooohwee's. That's a minuscule detail, though, barely worth noting.
Although the songs are all pretty similar, there are a few highlights. The awkward oooh's in "I Searched" and uh-ow's in "Short Sleeves at Night" are endearing and "Absolutely Anything" is an especially charming indie earworm. Things get a little heavier midway through, starting "Mystic," the album's most in-your-face moment. "Motherland" has a little bit of punch to it, too. The closing track, "Should I Tell You" is pretty normal except that it periodically sounds like a Boeing is taking off in the background. I can't figure out if that's a good thing or not.
For fans of the genre, you'll find some nice songs on Introducing, but if you're looking for something artistic, edgy or fresh, you'd be wasting your time. We've heard this before, better, many times.