Question, how many bands these days do you see naming obscure band from 80’s as influences? Well, I don’t see too many, but then again I don’t get out much. The Answering Machine hailing from Manchester name a few likely candidates like the Strokes, Shout Out Louds and Radio Dept, but throw a curve ball when they site the Brilliant Corners. The Brilliant Corners were from Bristol and very overlooked band from the late 80’s. They had a bit of a happy music, sad lyrics thing going on, that had elements of the Housemartins, Close Lobsters and the Monochrome Set. The Brilliant Corners’ album Somebody Up There Likes Me is a lost classic, with excellent pop songs, excellent horns, chiming guitars and Davey Woodward’s lyrics delivered in a such a pleasing way that you tend to not notice that he’s singing about dead girlfriends and unrequited love. It seems like the six albums they released throughout the later part of the 80’s and into the early 90’s is out of print on old media (cd’s and vinyl). Their flash of brilliance came in the form the the album Somebody Up There Likes Me from 1988, lovingly produced by the gentle hand of John A. Rivers, you really can’t go wrong with any of the songs on this record. The now defunct Canadian label Pearls from the Past re-issued it back in 1994 eleven extra tracks. If you’re new to the Corners, then this is definitely the place to start.
This was originally supposed to be a post about the Answering Machine. Actually, I don’t think that the Answering Machine sound much like the Brilliant Corners, but that doesn’t mean they’re no good. On the contrary, this threesome plus a drum machine they’ve christened Mustafa Beat and a Speak n’ Spell sound a whole lot like Cardiff band Los Campesinos. Their new, second single Silent Hotels has a lot in common with the Campesinos, except that it’s not as shambolic and a little more straightforward c-86. Both Indie Mp3 and Eardrums are already on the bandwagon, and now me…and you?
Since this ended up being more about the Brilliant Corners, here are three songs (all from Somebody Up There) that will probably make you want more…
and here is the new single from the promising Answering Machine
Mp3: the Answering Machine – Silent Hotels