A great debut that meets the hefty weight of expectation.
Lou Thomas 2009-09-09
The Big Pink’s debut album arrives with the hefty weight of expectation. Singer Milo Cordell runs Merok Records and is the son of 60s producer Denny Cordell. His partner is Robbie Curze, a man who previously played guitar with Berlin techno-rock mentalist Alec Empire.
Fortunately, A Brief History of Love delivers. Cordell’s heritage and sharp eye (and ear) for talent, combined with Curze’s ability to terrorise with sound, has clearly imbued the London-based pair with a knack for creating music which is often extreme but rarely less than tuneful.
Current single Dominos will have listeners chanting gleefully along to its euphoric chorus – “These girls fall like dominoes” – while the accompanying fearsome, bass-heavy synth drone is positively overwhelming.
The holy trinity of Spacemen 3, My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain are overt influences throughout the album, especially on debut single Too Young to Love. Screeching feedback, guitars squealing like tortured porpoises and a lyric about lost innocence: it’s an instant noise-pop classic.
There’s a drop in quality with Love in Vain, a slight diversion from the rest of the album in terms of its sedate pace and bizarrely jaunty tone. The Big Pink are at their best when trying to punch holes in the sky, not making ballads.
Second single Velvet, meanwhile, aims for the ethereal territory of Cocteau Twins crossed with the studied cool of The Velvet Underground. Music to wear sunglasses to never sounded so good.
Live collaborator Jo Apps crops up to sing on the title track, a beautiful work of passion, pain and longing which sounds like it was performed on the tear ducts of a spurned bride.
Countbackwards from Ten blends sweet vocal melodies with a guitar tone from Pixies’ Where Is My Mind? to swoonsome effect, ensuring the album ends a lot better than most relationships.
The Big Pink aimed to make an album about every facet of love, so it’s a great tribute to them that after hearing these 11 songs many will immediately want to come back for more as soon possible. After all, isn’t that how people feel when they are actually in love?