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A BRIEF HISTORY OF LOVE
EARTHBOUND OFFERING FROM HYPED TO THE HEAVENS DUO
Francis Jones, 30 Sep 2009
The sound is as glacial and remote as the Arctic wilderness and just as lacking in humanity. This hollow-hearted debut – all wraithlike vocals, mechanised murmur and splintered beats – is the product of The Big Pink, a London twosome, Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell, whose every My Bloody Valentine / Spacemen 3-aping drone has had the music press salivating in excitement.
In the face of such unrelenting hype, it’s hard not to be a tad cynical and this album struggles to justify the praise that has so far greeted the pair’s every move. You can sense the ambition that seethes below the surface – ambitions that are left largely unfulfilled. ‘Golden Pendulum’ threatens to summon the dark majesty of Nine Inch Nails before the menace dissipates, whilst ‘Tonight’ sounds like a poor man’s Lo-Fidelity Allstars. Still, there are moments when TBP almost scale the Herculean heights expected of them. With slender tendrils of female voice, the title track winningly combines Cocteau Twins wispiness with gothic industrial clatter, whilst ‘Dominos’, with its unrelenting chorus, soon drills its way into your consciousness. ‘Velvet’ meanwhile, is as fractious and heartfelt as anything The Jesus And Mary Chain ever committed to disc.
However, songs like ‘Love In Vain’ and ‘At War With The Sun’ muster only a dull refrigerator whine when they should be awing us with jet-engine roar. Come the close and you can’t help thinking that the album title is kind of prescient: the current infatuation with The Big Pink will prove no more than a passing fancy.