Photograph by Tom Beard

Photograph by Tom Beard

Upon hearing ‘Dominos,’ with its catchy hooks and electric vibe, I immediately thought here comes the next MGMT, an electro-rock duo that’s going to blow up with the kids and become so oversaturated in the music world that I’m going to end up hating them. Hot off winning the NME’s Philip Hall Radar Award for best new act earlier this year, I could see the hype machine moving full steam. After listening to their debut LP A Brief History of Love, I can see that I’ve picked the wrong band as a comparison. Perhaps it’s just the British accents, but to my ears I hear A Northern Soul-era Verve, and an Echo & the Bunnymen with electronic tendencies. This is good.

Single ‘Dominos’ actually shares little in common with the rest of the album, upfront and direct while the rest of the album is spacey. In the band’s words, this album is about the different facets of love, in which case ‘Dominos’ would have to be regarding the cocksure gaddabout strutting about town just before the inevitable fall. Likewise, other songs offer different scenarios and perspectives. ‘Love in Vain’ offers the tale of the other man begging his lover to stay. ‘Velvet’ finds a man moving on from a past relationship still haunting him. While several singles from earlier this year make a reappearance, the strength of songs like ‘Too Young to Love’ makes this easy to overlook.

There’s an honest, authentic feeling to the album. The vocals are emotional without sounding whiny, which in the hands of a lesser band could have been a misfire. The dreamy soundscape created by the juxtaposition of heartfelt vocals placed against droning guitars hits all the right spots. It remains to be seen if their momentum will continue, but the Big Pink have created a solid debut album, well worth the praise lavished upon it.

The Big Pink – Too Young to Love
The Big Pink – Velvet
The Big Pink – A Brief History of Love


— , September 3, 2009    1 Comment

Great review. Too often referencing other bands in a review is just lazy, but your electro Echo/Verve description got me to listen to the tracks and it’s spot on.

— el Guapo, September 4, 2009