The Big Pink first caught my attention with their single "Velvet," a dreamy collage of industrial beats amidst a droning guitar shred. I played it over and over and over until I got my hands on the debut album A Brief History of Love, which became an automatic favorite. While being more reminiscent of Jesus and the Mary Chain, the band took its name from country soul rockers The Band’s debut album Music from Big Pink. The duo consists of multi-instrumentalists Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell.
The band's debut album, A Brief History of Love, was released in September of 2009 via 4AD. The album opener "Crystal Visions," brings out the shoe gazer in everyone. The memorizing track explodes into a psychedelic explosion of phase-shifting, echoed guitars and a repetitive bass riff which initially reminded of a Black Angels show I attended a few years back. A pervading warped, chilly, haunted ambiance lingers throughout the track’s hook-heavy reverb.
Third track and first single of the album, “Dominos” commences with rhythmic propulsion of drumming followed by the elated, yet heartless chorus “these girls fall like dominos, dominos… these girls fall like dominos, dominos.” The lyrics allude to the fact and unfortunate pleasure of breaking hearts. Despite this, every song on the album has a different take and angle of love, from starlit romance to destructive desire.
The last track, “Count Backwards from Ten,” begins with someone’s heavy foot on the distortion pedal but quickly unfolds into a cascading melody of sadness. Oddly this track is unlike all the others in that it sounds less industrial, machine-made and more like something Oasis would put out. Regardless, this album proves to be a modern masterpiece and an honest ode to the greatest feeling in the world, love.
The Big Pink will be playing in Austin on Thursday, April 8 at The Parish with A Place to Bury Strangers. We will be giving away a pair of spots on the guestlist via Twitter, and you can purchase tickets at the link.