THE CORNER LAUGHERS
Remember that scene in The Wizard Of Oz when, right after the ‘twister’ takes her house for a spin, Dorothy slowly opens the door and her black and white gloom suddenly comes to life as the beautiful colors of Munchkinland permeate her world? Well, prepare yourself for the aural equivalent to that beloved celluloid moment when you listen to Matilda Effect, The Corner Laughers’ long awaited 2015 album. Bringing together elements of Power Pop, Americana, the sounds of ‘60s girl groups, New Wave, Twee Pop and children’s music, Matilda Effect is nothing short of a melodic minefield of absolute joy. This is a band who has clearly found their sound and are not afraid to have fun with it. Vocalist Karla Kane possesses a voice that is sweet and innocent yet smart and confident. Khoi Huynh, KC Bowman and Charlie Crabtree lift her voice up to the stars with ace chops and a keen sense of when to cut loose and when to hold back. They make magic on Matilda Effect. With flawless production, expertly arranged songs and melodies that seem to have dripped down from heaven, this is an album that will wipe your black and white gloom away. It is quirky, warm and inspiring.
“Fairytale Tourist” mixes a Motown beat with a Kirsty McCall-like melody as interpreted by Belle & Sebastian. “The Girl, America” has a gorgeous girl-group feel to the vocals. The recurring guitar lick on “Sophie In The Streets Of Stockholm” is as infectious as the vocal melody and will pop up in your head randomly during your day (trust me on that one). “Octavia A” has a bit that mixes an Abbey Road-era Beatles guitar riff with child-like ‘la-la-la’s’ to great effect. “Go Fly Your Kite” is Power Pop glory with handclaps and a few nice vocal hooks, some ‘ba-ba-ba-ba’ bits and great backing vocals. “Martha (Cincinnati 1914)” is a jaunty little number that just happens to have a Queen-like guitar solo that may sound weird on paper but totally works. Speaking of which, there are some great understated guitar solos on this album that reveal themselves with repeated listenings. And you will definitely be spinning this album numerous times a day. And each day, you’ll find a new favorite.
Matilda Effect is an album that doesn’t date itself and will remain fresh and invigorating years down the line. Yes, there are a few more ukuleles on this album than you’re going to find on your average pop album, but who knows? The Corner Laughers could kickstart a whole new Uke Pop movement. And you know what? If every Pop band learned to write hooks as memorable as these, the world would be a much better place. And certainly a lot more colorful...