Friday, January 22, 2010

Make room in the modern shoegazing pantheon

Artist: Brilliant Colors
Title: Introducing...
Label: Slumberland Records
Release date: 2009

Add Brilliant Colors to your list of crucial modern female-fronted, shoegazing-inspired garage-pop acts (that's a mouthful).

This all-girl trio, like many fine bands not from Atlanta or Brooklyn, hails from San Francisco and already had a Captured Tracks release on their vitae before joining other indie heavyweights at Slumberland.

Album highlight "Absolutely Nothing" should be a college radio hit, though it probably isn't, because it brings a 1980's pop sensibility to the modern shoegazing table. It is followed by the comparable "English Towns", which sounds like the Vivian Girls minus the charming harmonies and with the bass amp turned all the way up.

Other keepers include "Yell In The Air" and its tongue-tied chorus, the heavier "Over There" with its punky riffs, and post-punk shoutalongs "Mythic" and "Motherland".

If there's one weakness, it's the fact that this is not exactly a variety platter. Brilliant Colors don't try to mix things up too much on their debut, but fortunately they are damn good at what they did try to pull off.

Brilliant Colors have earned through their debut long-player a spot longside contemporaries like the incomparable Vivian Girls. Where do they fit in the modern shoegazing pantheon? Somewhere in between Dum Dum Girls' dreary outlook and The Girls At Dawn's peppy girl-group worship. That, of course, puts them in good company.

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