The Big Pink – A Brief History Of Love (2009): Review

brief

Produced by Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell
Label – 4AD

The weight of expectation that came with The Big Pink’s debut long player was well founded. The East London duo of vocalist/guitarist Robbie Furze and keyboardist/programmer Milo Cordell have all the artistic credentials and connections to forge a level of interest far beyond most. Furze was a member of techno rock experimentalists Alec Empire, and has been one of a number who has shouldered tabloid headlines with close friend Lily Allen. Cordell is the son of the late Denny Cordell, who as producer guided a succession of successful artists including The Moody Blues, Georgie Fame, Procol Harum and Joe Cocker. In addition, Milo’s own record company (Merok Records) is the home to Klaxons and Crystal Castles. It’s a mighty, if slightly overbearing resume that fortunately isn’t lost on this mostly exhilarating debut album. “A Brief History Of Love” passionately carries with it a string of powerful songs, simply drenched in a wall of distorted sound that bears many similarities to The Jesus & Mary Chain. It’s unlikely that the pair would deny their chief influencers either, as Furze can often be seen sporting a tatty “Psychocandy” t-shirt. Much like their mentors, the duo aren’t afraid to flirt with the mainstream either, as the breakthrough single “Dominos” with its euphoric chorus will testify.

bigpink

The essence that makes much of “A Brief History Of Love” a joy is that behind the layers of industrial guitar noise and swelling rhythms, the very core is held together by strong, passionately performed melodies. If music could represent the brutality of romance then songs like “Too Young To Love”, “Love In Vain” and the title track would be the literal soundtrack. Opener “Crystal Visions” has all the blurry ambience of a classic shoe gazers snapshot circa 1992. “Velvet”, the highlight of the album, carries with it truck heavy metallic rhythms, drifting automated pedal effects and an impassioned vocal performance from Furze of soul bearing proportions. If the 2009 UK Indie scene is to be remembered for “wall of sound” recordings then in comparison to Glasvegas’ debut “A Brief History Of Love” is far superior and would have probably been the standout of the year had it not been for those pesky Horrors and their magnificent album “Primary Colours”.

8/10

Track Listing
1. “Crystal Visions” 5:48
2. “Too Young to Love” 4:09
3. “Dominos” 3:46
4. “Love in Vain” 4:08
5. “At War with the Sun” 4:11
6. “Velvet” 4:12
7. “Golden Pendulum” 4:37
8. “Frisk” 4:42
9. “A Brief History of Love” 4:53
10. “Tonight” 3:35
11. “Count Backwards from Ten” 4:08

Dominos

Velvet

Tonight

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