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Pavement - Brighten The Corners

‘Brighten the Corners’ has fared the test of time pretty well.

Pavement

occupy a strange place in history. For those who are fans they are an essential cult band and this reissue is an essential release. Those who don’t like them either have hearts of stone or probably just haven’t really heard them!

‘Brighten the Corners’ is Dominos fourth chronological re release from the Pavement back catalogue. In many ways they seem to be honourable re releases because each one comes with a thoughtfully compiled booklet of photos and band musings, additional outtakes and radio sessions. The band had a lot of input into the project and it shows through in the quality of the package.

As an album ‘Brighten the Corners’ has fared the test of time pretty well. ‘Wowee Zowee’ may have been the one that most folk remember but this is probably a more cohesive record overall. The wonky sounding guitars are as wonky as ever, the vocals as laconic and the overall sense of barely contained polite mayhem threatens to break through at any point. ‘Shady Lane’ remains a brilliant off kilter pop song which reminded me just how much influence they had over ‘Beetlebum’ era Blur. In fact, influence seems to be a strong theme with Pavement, as their proto slacker math rock sound can be heard in snippets all over the place. ‘Date w/ Ikea’ also reminded me how bizarre their lyrics could be “The fitness coast is growing near, the shores they dont stay blond this year” as an example! The rest of the album remains (to my ears) Pavement at a highly creative but also accomplished and polished period of their career.

Of principle interest however to Pavement fans is the bonus CD and there are some fascinating extras. The Radio 1 evening sessions and Peel sessions show a band who have evolved but sound like they are enjoying themselves. Their take on ‘The Killing Moon’ being of note as is their previously unreleased ‘Space Ghost Theme’ parts 1 and 2.

For the uninitiated this album is actually an excellent starting point because it has a fair degree of accesibility whilst retaining bucketloads of kooky charm.

Tags: Pavement, Reviews, Album Reviews

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