The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

The Big Pink: A brief history of love (2009)

A medio camino entre el puro hype y el ambiente más cool dentro de la escena Electro-Rock, entre el Pop-Electrónico y el Glam-Noise, aparece -apareció más bien, a mediados del mes pasado- este A brief history of love(4AD, 2009). Personalmente, una vez oído el disco, no sé que pensar realmente. Últimamente las dudas que nos asaltan cada vez que oímos algún producto británico, que suenan a ser “los nuevos…” nos entra bastante resquemor, pues ya sabemos cómo se las gastan por esas latitudes en cuanto que un nuevo fenómeno hace su aparición. Lo cierto es que The Big Pink tienen algunos temas que no están nada mal, pero en otros, su nivel baja tanto, que da que pensar. En este disco, ocurre ésto. El dúo formado por Robbie Furze y Milo Cordell ha facturado un disco un tanto irregular, que toma elementos de aquí y de allí: electrónica y sintetizadores se fusionan con guitarras más que afiladas (Count backwards from ten), incluso con ambientes shoegazers (Crystal visions). Son los momentos más excitantes del disco, esos temas que realmente impresionan al fusionar esos elementos, Electrónica y Noise. Crystal visions es el mejor exponente. Una especie de cruce entre Black Rebel Motorcycle Club y New Order. Gran tema en el que la intensidad Noise llega al punto álgido al final del mismo. En Too young to love, la mezcla ya se decanta algo más por el lado de la electrónica, algo así como lo que realizó The Jesus and Mary Chain en su época Honey´s dead. El single Dominos, ya conocido previamente, toma claramente el lado electrónico como el predominante en su sonido. Y la verdad que es un tema muy apañado, a mí personalmente me recuerdan los sonidos de EMF, a principios de los noventa. A partir de aquí, personalmente, sólo salvo Tonight, divertido tema Electro-Pop. Por lo demás, demasiados clichés ochenteros (Love in vain, At war with the sun); concesiones incluso Glam (Velvet, Frisk), que lo que consiguen es acercarles al peor sonido de Kasabian (como leí en Don´t eat the yellow snow, y no puedo estar más de acuerdo). Demasiada irregularidad para un solo disco que navega un tanto erráticamente entre fuentes diversas pero que no logra retener la verdadera esencia de alguna de ellas. Por cierto, si le das un giro a la chica de la portada, te puedes encontrar con la portada de Logos, de Atlas Sound, sospechosamente parecida.
“Not everyone was interested in following OK Computer’s example of using electronic music for texture so much as another avenue towards anthems, and tracks such as “Bittersweet Symphony”, “Pure Morning”, “All You Good Good People”, and, yes, “D’You Know What I Mean” proved a natural fit between massive, if rudimentary hip-hop beats and what might otherwise be flag-waving, stadium-filling radio smashes. And so then, the lineage continues with the Big Pink’s mighty “Dominos”– it’s such an undeniable, simple hook, and such an undeniably locomotive but lumbering beat that it steamrolls any doubt you have about the rest of it being underwritten or misogynistic.
But more promising is how in spite of the IMAX-ready sonic presence of previously released singles like “Dominos” and “Crystal Visions”, History rarely feels something other than hand-crafted. Furze and Cordell produced the album themselves, with engineering done by Rich Costey who, judging from the latest Mew and Glasvegas records, knows his way around huge. A Brief History stills sounds surprisingly nuanced in headphones– you can enjoy how the group fits an entire album’s worth of power chords into a swath of synthesizers that honor their 4AD legacy on “Dominos”, but from the anticipatory shaker that leads into the hook or the feedback-scratched bridge, repeat listens are rewarded long after they’ve been demanded. “Too Young to Love” hurtles by on momentum more than melody, its raga drone breaking up into shards of scree like a comet through the atmosphere. But almost as hypnotic is the passionate vocal performance on “Velvet”, which reveals a similar endlessly upward arc to “Fake Plastic Trees”, right down to the distorted blow-out midway through.
Though History never fails to sound elegantly wasted at any tempo, its majority goes in buffet-style on the last two decades of UK’s beat-minded rock, united by Furze’s Jason Pierce-ing sneer. “At War With the Sun” nicks Stone Roses’ jangle with nastier distortion pedals, while “Frisk” is halfway between Damon Albarn’s early forays into funk and the more silken prog of Mansun’s Attack of the Grey Lantern. Two years ago, you might’ve caught Cordell releasing early singles from Crystal Castles and Klaxons on his Merok label, so it’s not a surprise that learning on the job resulted in nu-rave wondering how it missed out on shrieking dumb fun like “Golden Pendulum” and “Tonight”.
Despite all the cavalcade of classics that A Brief History of Love conjures, my favorite comparison for these guys is actually another youthful, romantically minded British act: The xx. By “comparison,” I don’t mean “sounds like”– the two bands seem like they’re operating while diametrically opposed. Some might find the Big Pink churlish or even anti-romantic (though I’d argue they hardly spend enough time acknowledging women enough to really comment on them) compared to the restrained and unusually mature xx, who hew more comfortable notions of gender relations. “Love in Vain” tries a little tenderness, but “if you really love him, tell me that you love him again,” hints at vulnerability before “then go” turns the sentiment as cavernous as the reverb surrounding it. But while sometimes you fall for the art of seduction, there’s the part of us that want to be overwhelmed– A Brief History of Love is a study in the enormity of sound doing just that, each reverbed kick drum, phasers-on-stun guitar, and wastrel vocal refuting the idea that you need to talk about the passion to express it”
(pitchfork.com)
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28 octubre, 2009 Posted by | Música, The Big Pink | Deja un comentario

   

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