The Big Pink – A Brief History Of Love (4AD)
A better title would be “A Brief History Of Shoegaze,” but because not a lot of bands today are doing this type of music with such stunning accuracy, we’ll give the Big Pink a pass.
Let’s clarify a bit: A Brief History Of Love is nowhere near the same level as Psycho Candy or Loveless, but it could fit in nicely beside any Catherine Wheel record and is infinitely more hooky than anything Ride ever released. It is a pop record at its core—fueled by specific sections of a record store that stocks every Creation Records ever released on the merits of the label itself.
As a duo, The Big Pink do a great service by letting a dated drum machine keep time while they fiddle with the knobs of their industrial guitar tones and synthesizer hypnotics. Vocalist Robbie Furze sounds positively detached as he musters up enough anthemic deadpans to make Peter Haynes jealous while being young enough to not cause Jason Pierce to lose any sleep. Give him some time, though, and he—along with second member Milo Cordell—could prove to be capable villains to any well-established artists.
Because A Brief History Of Love sounds like a debut album, complete with a flat mix and ever-present echo on the vocals. Strangely enough, it’s part of what makes the album so endearing; not only does it compete with many of those second-tier shoegaze albums, it sounds like it was recorded just weeks apart from them.
The exception would be “Dominoes,” so obviously the album’s single that they’ve tidied it up enough to sound awesome blasting from the p.a. of a club.
While it may indeed be a debut, as derivative as all get out, it holds a tremendous amount of promise. It hints at a band that could very well ease their way into more industrial territories or play the pop card a bit further and come up with some incredibly infectious singles in the years to come. In either case, it doesn’t sound like The Big Pink should worry that their own history will be brief at all.
MP3: The Big Pink – “Dominoes”
Video: The Big Pink – “Dominoes”