Release Date: Jul 19, 2011
Record label: Slumberland
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Pop, Noise Pop
Brilliant Colors' debut record, Introducing, was a quick and promising affair, the all-girl trio from San Francisco charging through a hooky, noisy batch of indie pop with a punk streak like a Flying Nun/C-86 hybrid. Their follow-up record, Again and Again, delivers the same amount of value as the debut, only it's a little sharper and focused both sonically and in the songwriting department. The drums have a little more punch, the guitars ring a bit clearer, and the vocals are louder in the mix, all helping the songs come across better.
During The Great C86 Gold Rush of 2008, Slumberland re-established themselves as the label destination for indie-pop bands fusing together clanging distortion and bright, simple melodies. A few bands became popular during that period (the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Crystal Stilts), others developed a modest but reverential fan base (caUSE co-MOTION!), and Black Tambourine-- the very reason Slumberland was founded in the first place-- released an anthology at the height of their renewed influential status. One Slumberland group that went slightly overlooked was San Francisco's Brilliant Colors, who quietly released a 23-minute platter of driving noise-pop called Introducing.
So, when I was originally pitching this review to the man upstairs, I had the brilliant idea of doing a cut-and-paste of Mr P’s 2009 review of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s eponymous debut and calling it a day. “You already did the legwork on this one, boss,” I said. “Any inventory that I try to draw up of Again and Again’s strengths and weaknesses is going to wind up looking an awful lot like that piece.
There’s something undeniably catchy about Brilliant Colors‘ version of the female-fronted bubblegum sorta-punk trafficked by Best Coast, as well as the Dum Dum and Vivian Girls. The distortion, hooks, lo-fi mentality, and sharp, staccato bursts are all there, but it’s a couple of years late, and the sound has since worn a little thin. It needs something extra to create the same panache.