The Big Pink
‘Future This’ (4AD)
After ‘A Brief History Of Love’’s piledriving space-rock outed The Big Pink as a pair of debauched hipsters able to fill an aircraft hangar with ear-splitting industrial noise, ‘Future This’ has long been touted as a perception-changing second coming. Following whispers that it’d have a new sound (the words “hip-hop” were used, at one point), and following drummer Akiko Matsuura’s departure, ‘Future This’ is an album that betrays a band in a state of fl ux. Lead single ‘Stay Gold’’s titanic chorus could have sat comfortably on their debut as ‘Dominos’’ sexy older brother, yet ‘Hit The Ground (Superman)’, this album’s finest moment, drips with an addictively aching sentiment that sees The Big Pink advance on exciting new ground. Indeed, this tear-stained emotion is found elsewhere, notably on the affecting paean to Milo’s late brother, ‘77’, and the bass heavy waltz ‘Give It Up’. Disappointingly, the more familiar moments of exploratory noise (‘1313’, ‘Rubbernecking’) pack a lesser punch. Whilst impressively constructed, effects, guitars and electronic drums seem jagged and jar awkwardly. ‘Lose Your Mind’’s bizarre drone is the worst offender, coming off as a pilled-up attempt at a Bond theme. In the end, it’s the inconsistency of ‘Future This’ – particularly the band’s newfound tenderness vs. Their miscalculated explosions of noise – that make it a largely baffling listen.