The Big Pink and A Place To Bury Strangers Heart Feedback

Posted by Aaron Detroit, September 22, 2009 05:00pm | Post a Comment
If the gentlemen of London’s The Big Pink and New York’s A Place To Bury Strangers are to have their way this fall – you will have a serious case of tinnitus by Winter Solstice via their dark-veined noise-pop. Both bands love the volume loud, worship at the alters of 80’s Gloom-Pop and early-‘90’s Shoegaze, and both have new releases out in the next month. While both bands paint with Kevin Shields’s and Daniel Ash’s brush-strokes each band shades their canvas quite differently and uniquely.

The Big Pink signed to cult-label 4AD this year. The team-up couldn’t have been a better fit as the duo’s tunes could slide in nicely in a playlist alongside tracks from the label’s 80’s and 90’s roster of ethereal and gothic-leaning releases. They also share with their predecessors a keen eye and love
for packaging their music -– a dying art form for sure --adding dimensions to the music and an additional keyhole into the universe the band has created within their sound. The band’s pre-4AD releases of dead-sexy lo-fi electro vs. feedback bliss-outs were accompanied by homoerotic and ethereal sleeve artwork by Dennis Cooper (The duo also borrowed the title for their song “Frisk” from Cooper). The band’s newly polished, less-amorphous and refined sound (courtesy of major league mixing-czar Rich Costey) featured on their debut LP, A Brief History of Love, is issued with a murky, blurred and slightly unsettling cover photo of a bare-chested woman - insinuating and helping inject a similarly subversive sexual tone of their indie releases into the hazy pools of stoned reverb and romantic wistful grooves of the new album.

There has been some debate amongst critics and fans about the band’s credibility and authenticity due to the band’s big-time connections; Singer Robbie Furze is a former paramour of Lily Allen and spent time playing guitar for Digital Hardcore Founder, Alec Empire. Milo Cordell (who plays everything Furze doesn’t) comes from a music biz family. Cordell’s Father is Producer Denny Cordell, most famous for producing Moody Blues’s first album and Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” Also, prior to establishing The Big Pink, Cordell founded the label Merok Records, which released some of the earliest rumblings by hipster magnates Klaxons and Crystal Castles. Ultimately, the band delivers fully on the promise of their stellar pre-album singles and one would be best served to ignore the members’ pedigree and associations for one true, full spin of the LP, a wonderfully rewarding listening experience, especially for fans of the “classic” 4AD-era.

Brooklynites A Place To Bury Strangers’ approach to their Shoegaze-y Pop Psychedelia is much more aggressive, in-the-red and less doped-out than Big Pink’s turn. APTBS release an outstanding follow up to their most excellent self-titled debut next month. Exploding Head, their first full-length for Mute, has a justified title as it is a taut set of 10 high-strung sonic assaults and dripping-wet-in-a-cave songs in just under 43 minutes. The band can shift seamlessly between intense “You Made Me Realise”-esque moments to murky JAMC slink and jangly New Order-informed pop. The track “Everything Always Goes Wrong” creates a sinister and menacing atmosphere that evokes a lo-fi but melodic Death Rock or Black Metal song played by a fired-up Spacemen 3, all before serving up a bouncing Cure bass line for the title track. APTBS also share the “whole-package” approach with Big Pink; Exploding Head’s cover art looks like a pixilated aerial scan of terra firma busting apart. The minimal image’s suggestion plays well with the ear-scorch of the band’s relentless attack. Unlike The Big Pink, there is no controversy about the APTBS’s legitimacy. Mainman Oliver Ackerman spent time in a Virginia-based neo-Shoegazer band called Skywave
with a small but loyal cult-following (whose other members went on to form the similarly noisy and wonderful Ceremony) and spends his down-time from APTBS selling his increasingly successful line of hand-wired effects pedals, Death By Audio.

The Big Pink’s A Brief History of Love is in stores today (9/22) and A Place To Bury Strangers’ Expoding Head follows in two weeks on October 6th. Be Sure to pop in to Amoeba Hollywood for the limited vinyl edition of Brief History which boasts a bonus colored 12” featuring the Gang Gang Dance remix of Big Pink’s gorgeous single, “Velvet.” These will likely go fast!

Amoeba Hollywood’s Goth/Industrial Section Featured New Releases Week of 9/22:

Spectre -
10 Pezzi Facili (Ten Easy Tunes) CD [Old Europa Cafe] .
The second solo album from Marcello Fraioli, vocalist and guitarist for cult ritual/folk outfit  AIN SOPH. Minimal orchestrations of prog , folk, new wave, Italian cabaret, and poetry collide on this tight set. Includes one Ain Soph reinterpretation plus cool covers of Franco Battiato's "Magick Shop," Francesco Guccini's "L'Avvelenata", as well as John Barry's "The Persuaders." Recommended.

Habitat -
Code Grey CD [Self-Released]
A higly recommended, extremely limited release of 100(!) copies by L.A. dark and esoteric noisemeisters/soundscapists, Habitat. Fans of Coil and Cyclobe should jump at this gorgeous sophomore release from one of Los Angeles's most promising and unique acts!

In Next Week, Amoeba Hollywood:

The long-awaited archival release from the seminal beginnings of Throbbing Gristle members Genisis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti will FINALLY be in stock by next week!

Clan Of Xymox -Emily CDEP [Metropolis]
The classic dark-wave band celebrates its 25th anniversary with this CDEP featuring an exclusive B-Side and remixes of the the group's club hit "Emily" culled from their 2009 comeback album In Love We Trust.

Still Fresh...

Psyclon Nine - We The Fallen CD [Metropolis] The Aggro-Electro act returns its darkest, most aggressive album to date. EVIL!

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult - Death Threat CD [Sleazebox]
Still dark n' sleazy after all these years! Thrill Kill Kult's 13th studio release!

6Comm - Like Stukas Angels Fall: Retrospect 1984 -1990 CD [Kenaz]
Re-recorded album of classic tracks featuring songs from the early 6Comm period and also a few tracks from his previous work in Death in June. Electro - Folk - Classical - Martial - Experimental -- 16 great songs, including new versions of "Torture Garden" and "Carousel" with new vocal sections. Nice gold foil blocked Digipak!

Jessie Evans - Is It Fire? LIMITED LP/CD [Fantomette]
Former Subtonix/The Vanishing/Autonervous member finally goes solo. Features appearances by Budgie (Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Creatures) and Toby Dammit (Swans, Iggy Pop).

Relevant Tags

A Place To Bury Strangers (12), My Bloody Valentine (33), Kevin Shields (2), Shoegaze (36), Love And Rockets (5), Amoeba Music Hollywood (104), The Big Pink (2), Industrial (27), Goth (48)