Future This

The Big Pink

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Future This Review

by Jon O'Brien

Sampled by Nicki Minaj and featured on high-profile ad campaigns for both the Xbox 360 and the U.S. version of Skins, London noise-rock duo the Big Pink's breakthrough single, "Dominos," was something of an anomaly on their 2009 debut A Brief History of Love, its sky-scraping chorus and punchy Wall of Sound providing a rare moment of radio-friendly pop among a haze of feedback-drenched shoegaze and distorted fuzz-rock. Perhaps keen to avoid their one-hit wonder status, follow-up Future This eschews their original experimental ambitions by shamelessly attempting to repeat its success. The terrace-chanting melodies and widescreen psych-pop sound of opening track "Stay Gold," a possible, alternative Olympics anthem in the making, and the epic, Laurie Anderson-sampling new wave of "Hit the Ground (Superman)" are so utterly infectious that it's surely only a matter of time before another U.S. rapper or hip teen drama come calling, while the Brat Pack-ish synth pop of "The Palace," and the early Depeche Mode-esque "Jump Music" are convincing mid-'80s throwbacks which neatly fit in with the album's retro title (apparently inspired by an early skateboard ad slogan). Of course, by opening so big, Furze and Cordell run the risk of leaving themselves with nowhere to go, but while the relentless barrage of chunky beats, scuzzy synths, and bellowing vocals occasionally become tiresome, particularly on the plodding space rock of the title track and the baggy "1313," Paul Epworth's inventive production on the West Coast hip-pop of "Give It Up," the spooky electro-rock of "Lose Your Mind," and the mournful trip-hop of closer "77" ensure the record isn't the one-trick-pony it sometimes threatens to become. Subtle it certainly isn't, but just two weeks into 2012 and the Big Pink may have produced one of the most anthemic indie records of the year.

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