Inspired by post-punk fervor and the spiky pop of C86 and early Flying Nun / Creation label output, San Francisco's Brilliant Colors stake out a unique spot in the indie music landscape. Their 2009 album, Introducing, is one of the finest debuts in recent memory, and they followed it with 7-inches on Slumberland and Make a Mess and a European tour with La La Vasquez that led to the release of another great single on Germs of Youth. Most recently, they teamed up with Belfast's brilliant Girls Names to release a split 7-inch in Fall 2010. All of these singles were recorded with Oakland garage phenom Ty Segall, who spiked the ladies' punk-pop swirl with his own special grit.
Now Brilliant Colors have hit the studio to create Again And Again, an album that represents a great next step for the band. The song-writing is still as infectious as ever, but the tunes are now more carefully arranged pushing the band far beyond their punk roots to something as elemental as pop gets. Songs like opener "Hey Dan," the sprightly "Value Lines" and "Hitting Traffic" combine guitarist/singer Jess' catchy-as-hell riffs with Diane's steady, rolling beats and Michelle's dense baselines to fashion songs that are deceptively simple -- straightforwardly rocking but also richly layered, revealing new twists on each listen.
The mood is confessional and late-night dreamy; Jess' unadorned vocals and eloquent lyrics are personal, direct and atmospherically deployed, mixed in with the songs like another instrument. They can be heard to great effect on tougher songs like "Back To The Tricks" and "Painting Truths," tempering those tunes' punchy punk dynamics with their melodic sensibility. Add in classic-sounding stormers like "Cult Face" and "How Much Younger" and you have all the makings of another great Brilliant Colors album, one that shows how finely they've honed their own unique brand punk-informed crash-pop. Slumberland Records.