Brilliant Colors, Introducing Brilliant Colors

Anthony Mark Happel

Brilliant Colors, Introducing Brilliant Colors [Slumberland Records]

Brilliant Colors was birthed
in 2007 by guitarist Jess Scott, but she went through numerous line-up
changes in the past couple of years, until finally hooking up with Michelle
Hill and Diane Anastasio and establishing a permanent line-up.

It’s
all systems go on the Bay Area band’s brief debut album (22 minutes
52 seconds), which finds a great hook-laden, hard-ass slack-jawed pop
tune like “Yell In The Air” sharing space with the somewhat minimal
Sonic Youth-ish dissonance of “You Say You Want.” And that’s just
the beginning. “Over There” offers up some crooked pop that carries
with it a cool, muffled guitar sound. “Mythic” comes off like the
Red Aunts doing an X-Ray Spex b-side. And I could go on and on.

Every
song nudges it’s way forward and demands to be recognized separate
from the others. The varied aspects of the songwriting, and the
spirit of the playing, deserve something better as a descriptor than,
simply, “pop” or “punk,” or some shapeless combination of the
two. Both of those terms have, ironically, been rendered meaningless
by their syntactical juxtaposition. Brilliant Colors seems to allow
all of their sensibilities into the room at the same time, and then
they annunciate whatever feels like coming out. And damned if
it doesn’t work for them. They mash together numerous influences
and attitudes, that pull from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, into a super-compressed
set of songs. “I Searched” sounds like it could have bounced
itself right out of 1979.

The connection to everything from the
Buzzcocks to Siouxsie & the Banshees to The Bats, and all points
in between, is not contrived. It’s feels as organic as digital
electrical impulses delivered via a plastic covered disc can possibly
feel. A dark horse contender for Top Ten Albums of 2009.

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