Brilliant Colors are about to release their first album Introducing on Slumberland. Like the Vivian Girls debut it's got ten songs in about 20 minutes, and this could very well have been the same smash that record was for me last year. And yes, they have recorded one of the best albums of the year, seemingly with a flick of the wrist, but it's a tad too well-produced. The sound quality of their two eps didn't always work in their favour but it definitely gave then a unique sound, which made songs like "Over There" and "Takes So Little" so thrilling. Both "Over There" and "Should I Tell You" are on the album in new speeded-up versions, but if you still want to get their previous records (now sold out) you should pick up the 12" on Captured Tracks that includes all those songs.
A record that keeps growing on me and might even outdo Introducing in my end-of-year list is the new album by The Fresh & Onlys, also from San Francisco. Grey-Eyed Girls is their second full length of the year and I don't even know how many singles they've done! I definitely think it's the best album on Woodsist so far, who are set for more attention with the imminent release of Real Estate's album. I liked The Fresh & Onlys' first album a lot too, but in this case it's actually an improvement with the more pop material and a cleaner production. There's some great overdriven, jangly guitar on tracks like "Dude's Got a Tender Heart" as well, while they're still mining the SF garage rock history deeply - just like The Mantles. The only I thing I don't like is how they, like many current bands, bury the vocals in either reverb or distortion (or both) instead of using real distortion from vintage mics, or simply getting King Kahn to sing for them. Lucky "Clowns (Took My Baby Away)" is such a great song title then.