Music Reviews

Brilliant Colors ...Introducing

(Slumberland) Buy it from Insound Rating - 3/10

Musicians have been ripping off each other since, well, ever. So, when I put in the Brilliant Colors disk and heard Absolutely Anything, a track that sounds exactly like Nena’s 99 Luftballoons, I wasn’t surprised. I was just annoyed—annoyed that this track was the only track on the album that sounded markedly different from any of the other tracks. Yet, this isn’t reason enough to make me dislike a band. Lemmy from Motorhead was forthright when he said to an interviewer that once he found his formula for the perfect rock song, he stuck with it. But the thing is, Motorhead is different from Brilliant Colors in that their formula is wholly their own. You know when you’re listening to a Motorhead song. If a track off of …Introducing ever shows up on some random playlist that I happen to be listening to, I’m pretty sure I would just write it off as some flavor-of-the-month garage rock background noise that’s currently being pushed on to the public by the Indie-Rock© Hype Machine. Saying something like this makes me feel sad, because the girls in the band look like they’re really nice people. If I happened to know them personally, I would hate for them to not like me for my cynical views and opinions.

So, if any of these girls in the band or their friends happen to be reading this, please don’t turn your noses up if you ever happen to run into me. I still want to go to your shows and drink and dance until I’m slightly insane. Just know that when I’m done, I’ll probably never think of you again, never put an album of yours in the record player again, and will never buy your t-shirt. I won’t delete your songs off my computer’s hard drive. I like your music because I like derivative garage rock a lot. I think it’s a good sound. But…how can I explain this? Your music means to me what one Pabst means to me—you’re good enough I guess, but you come nowhere close to satisfying me.

What I’m trying to say is that the songs on …Introducing are derivative. But, the formula they decided to ape, Vivian Girls-esque garage rock, is just so fun to listen to. The girls are solid musicians, and they’ve structured their little songs well enough. The record is pretty short too, clocking in at 24 minutes, which is good, because I was bored already at the 15 minute mark.

The band is made up of three women, with Jess Scott singing and playing guitar, Diane Anastasio playing drums, and Michelle Hill on bass. The three of them share the preoccupations most girl-groups share, such as boys and schoolyard feminism. Scott lets her would-be boyfriend know his place in Should I Tell You, where he’s told that “You can’t talk here/ You’re in a crowded van/ You can’t talk here/ There’s girls everywhere”. Much like a girl who decided she was a feminist after taking a 101 class in Gender Studies at her moderately-sized liberal arts college in her first semester freshman year, the lyrics of …Introducing suggest the band’s lyricist thought long and hard about the convictions she tried to express. However, somehow the sentiment she is trying to express comes off as trite and unconvincing.

If you like early R.E.M., or like The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and would like to listen to a different band but are just so cripplingly afraid of change, then Brilliant Colors would be right up your alley. If you take to heart the maxim that variety is the spice of life, then it would behoove you to look elsewhere for your sonic fix.