The Big Pink - Future This

We're calling strange.

For The Big Pink's Future This, from its intentionally confident title onwards, is confusing; in some respects a modern, futuristic-sounding effort but also one where right here, right now is a place where the internet is a ridiculous dream and Jesus Jones are held as the be-sneakered seers of a bright new tomorrow.

It's all about the beats, see? Back to the core duo of Milo Cordell and Robbie Furze, Future This was built in the studio from the bottom up, with the guitars and melodies coming along some time after the drum patterns had been laid down. This is where things sounds dated, the beats of 'Hit the Ground (Superman)' and '1313' more Madchester than anything particularly cutting edge, while 'Give It Up' gets too close to Climie Fisher 80s MOR territory for its own good. Calling Alan Moulder in to provide the final sheen probably tells you everything you need to know about how and why the album sounds as it does: I <3 the 1990s and all that.

Still, much of what made A Brief History of Love such a success is in place and this follow-up has enough about it - just - to ensure TBP will remain tent fillers for this year's festival circuit. From the positivity anthem 'Stay Gold' to 'Rubbernecking' (the closest they come to replicating the nagging charm of 'Dominos') they can produce material that manages to cut through when they put their mind to it.

Whether there's much more mileage in the formula remains to be seen, but for now - when and wherever now actually is - The Big Pink seem secure enough.



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