Corner Laughers – Ultraviolet Garden

January 01, 1970

(Popover Corps)


Smart, bubbly pop from two girls who have been pals since
high school, The Corner Laughers’ Ultraviolet Garden cuts studs its sugary
hooks with quiz bowl vocabulary and surreal imagery. The tunes are airy, breezy
and laced with unexpected lyrical twists as Karla Kane sings and plays ukulele
here, while long-time pal, Angela Silletto slings a melodic Mersey
inflected guitar. Their second album, produced by the Orange Peels’ Alan Clapp,
puts a 1960s sheen onto conflicted, ebullient and intricately intelligent girl


Many of these guitar-chiming, tambourine clanking tunes are
about men. In fact, the best cuts cock a jaundiced eye at domesticity,
employing the voice of girls too sharp to settle but fascinated anyway by the
clichés of romance.   Honeymoons in Mexico?
Try “Yellow Jacket”. Staying together for the kiddies? Check “For the Sake of
the Cat.”  Breaking up? There’s “The Commonest
Manifesto”. Late night calls to an ex (whose new girl answers)? “Silver Medal”
has a surprisingly fresh take. All these songs are bright, sardonic, and
without a trace of self pity, bouncing along on unstoppable beats and
irresistible girls-rule harmonies. “Guys who are jerks” songs are interspersed
with cuts that tackle odder, more idiosyncratic subjects – medieval holy men,
deceased mobsters and the end of the world. “Shrine of the Martyred Saint” has
some of the Decemberists’ willful celebration of anachronism, while gorgeous,
trippy “Dead Sicilians” drifts and echoes like Wayward Bus-era Magnetic Fields.  End of days cut “Space Echo”, though, is the
album’s prettiest and most expansive cut, finishing off both the world and the
album in sweet but vaguely unsettling style.  


Consumer Note: Ultraviolet Garden is the first “official” release on John
Wesley Harding’s Popover Corps label, not counting, of course, JWH’s most
recent album Who Was Changed and Who Was
. You can learn all about the Corner Laughers’ esteemed patron and
their (slightly dubious) labelmates elsewhere on the Blurt site (check the links) and at the Popover site.


Standout Tracks: “Space Echo”  “The Commonest Manifesto”
“Dead Sicilians” JENNIFER KELLY



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