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A Brief History Of Loveless (8/10),
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This review is from: A Brief History Of Love (Audio CD)If the Gallaghers had been equally infatuated with Chapterhouse and Slowdive, Definitely Maybe could have sounded a lot like A Brief History Of Love. With the swagger of Richard Ashcroft, the baggy quality of the Stone Roses, walls of feedback and My Bloody Valentine drone, The Big Pink's debut expertly showcases their reverence for their immediate, and at times obvious, influences. Yet, these influences are bit part players on A Brief History Of Love. The power The Big Pink hold is not in their record collections, rather in their synergism. The Big Pink are not a scrapbook of their heroes. Raven-like, they lift intelligently, creating a sound of their own.
B-side to the first single, `Crystal Visions' starts proceedings in Glasvegas country, hovering Robbie Furze's echo-y vocal over pronounced kick drums, distortion and chugging, slow-burn guitars. Its A-side, `Too Young To Love' pummels like XTMNTR-era Primal Scream joining forces with the Chemical Brothers' `Noel' period. The baggy machismo of `Dominoes' ticks the box marked `commercial crossover', borrowing from the same 80s, indie checklist as Red Light Company. The Verve's urban egotism is instantly brought to mind on the swaying `Love In Vain'.
This is an album that demands playing loud and benefits from it, its individual elements best gelling at volume. Exhibit A is `At War With The Sun', which lifts the same drifting drone as The Horrors' `Three Decades' and combines A Place To Bury Strangers-like pedal FX, reverb and devastating key changes. That epic-sized, shoegaze drone is later reprised on `Golden Pendulum', which along with its appealing and clacking beats, is mostly wasted on an otherwise aimless track. The quiet-loud stylings of second single `Velvet' are particularly effective, so much so as to garner a late mention in the influential Pitchfork's 500 best tracks of the decade.
Despite lacking the requisite consistency to be hailed a classic, (see the clumsy Kasabian-isms of `Tonight') A Brief History Of Love suffers from anything but brevity, sure to cast a lengthy shadow across the scene for some while to come, no doubt igniting many a love affair all the while beneath its uplifting gloom.