Published Jun 12, 2015Californians the Corner Laughers specialise in making very likeable pop music. It's hard not to smile when greeted with one of their indie pop songs featuring the effortlessly sweet vocals of Karla Kane, and that has carried them along for three albums. To be perfectly honest, not that much has changed on their fourth record, Matilda Effect. The title refers to the phenomena of female scientists being snubbed in favour of their male colleagues, making for some interesting lyrics from a feminist perspective, like those of "Queen Of The Meadow," in which the band commemorate overlooked astronomer Henrietta Leavitt.
The main difference this time around is that their overall twee-ness, which could get a touch cloying on past albums, has been dialled back. Thought this helps make Matilda Effect their best record to date, there's still a lingering sense of stagnation here. The Corner Laughers have always been able to deliver when it comes to sunny pop songs, and that's very much the case here, but it doesn't feel like the band are doing anything they haven't really done before. Apart from the lyrics, it's all very straightforward and somewhat one-dimensional.
Sometimes a catchy tune is enough — and there are plenty here — but it would have been satisfying to hear the band try to reach a little bit further this time. (Mystery Lawn)