BY TIM HINELY
If you weren’t familiar with Bristol, England’s ‘80s indie pop band The Brilliant Corners then after you hear this 2-cd/48 song comp you certainly will be. While they weren’t as well known as some of their contemporaries that doesn’t mean this quartet didn’t have talent and a batch of terrific songs. The band, which took its name from a Thelonius Monk record, issued ten singles and five albums in their decade-long career (plus was on a ton of compilations). Though the band is primarily known in indie pop corners early in their career their sounded added elements of psychobilly and straight rock while later cuts were more of the jangly variety and later still, towards the end of their career, a tad noisier. Leader Davey Woodward was an underrated songwriter (with a unique voice) to be sure and one listen to Heart on Your Sleeve will have you wondering, “How have I not heard this band before?!”
Early cuts like “Black Water” “Big Hip” have an almost tribal beat to them while later cuts like “Brian Rix” and “Trudy is a Squeel” add lovely touches of jangle (the latter much fuzzier). These particular songs are all on disc one which adds some unreleased demos as well as some alternate versions. The twenty three songs on disc two continues on with their quirky songs of pastiche (opener “Teenage” is a classic, reminding me a bit of the June Brides) while the end of the disc tacks on six live cuts. A treasure trove of music here, especially for the uninitiated and Woodward himself adds the informative liner notes.
Side note: the band is reforming and playing a gig in the U.K. this month as part of Cherry Reds’ Scared to Get Happy festival!
DOWNLOAD: “She’s Got Fever,” “Black Water,” “The Funniest Thing,” “Brian Rix,” “Teenage,” “Shangri-La,” “White Gates”