The first impression of the debut from NME Philip Hall Radar Award-winners The Big Pink is of an album of sounds pasted together from the cutting room floor of early ’90s British rock, a feeling that has yet to leave. Clear from the off is that duo Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell have latched onto the classic Jesus & Mary Chain/Echo & The Bunnymen sound, and although there is synthesised noise in their loud, epic music, it’s all related back to fuzzy guitar and brooding, often baggy drum sound that we enjoyed back when Jim Reid and Ian Brown used to wear big jumpers. White Lies tapped the veins of the Liverpool scene that Echo and Teardrop Explodes were a part of last year but what The Big Pink do is replicate the sound with a certain amount of electronics without getting under the skin of it at all.
Opener -Crystal Visions’ sets out the stall and is one of the better tracks on offer, building up nicely but then running through a boring, pedestrian bunch of sounds, lyrics and chord changes that those of us of a certain age have heard so many times before. There’s not even credit to be given for exhuming these techniques for a new era, close as they are to the originals without a new angle to offer. New single -Dominos’ [sic] is not only a bad, by-the-numbers, programmed fuzzy rock sound but the lyrics seem like they were made from randomly re-using words that the Mock Turtles may have once discarded. ‘As soon as I love her it’s been too long / Talks of future with you canes me in / Swallow my sugar kiss and eat it alone / Hearts get light and smash any dreams of love’. With all due respect, what in the name of god are they on about and how can we let them get away with this nonsense?
The saving grace is -At War With The Sun’, a track enjoyable purely because it feels familiar, like a jacket you take out of the wardrobe after six months, but we’re treading careful with it in case we actually hear the lyrics. They may be good, or even acceptable, but we’re not taking the chance if we can help it. -Tonight’ is a trawl through the mire but amuses us for a bizarre few seconds when it reminds us, in part, of Bellamy Brothers’, -Let Your Love Flow’. A Brief History Of Love is simply a boring album plodding weakly through terrain much better covered by myriad bands before. Get yourselves a copy of Darklands instead, or if you must the Pretty In Pink soundtrack. You’ll find more meat on both of them than on the ribs of this poor effort.