Like a twisted electric clarion – the opening bars to the opening track of the sophomore from UK duo The Big Pink are reminiscent to both a call to arms and the sonic signature to re-imagined visitors making a close encounter of a third kind. “Forgive your lovers, but don’t forget their names” comes the refrain-pre chorus before a rattlesnake rhythm creates a glorious pause ahead of the bombastic chorus of the early lead single Stay Gold, which beats and clatters to a faded close.
The O Superman sampling second single Hit The Ground (Superman) gently arises from the dark on track two – the ah-ah-ah-ah’s synthesized to sound like a giant steam powered robotic Laurie Anderson surrounded, naturally, by dry ice and neon lights.
Things slip and and slide into something more sonically sexy in the 1973 Ann Peeples sampling Give It Up which comes to a rewind-y close before The Palace gently bubbles into being for about 40 seconds slowly becoming the stand out track on the record. While the electro-trance-fused Jump Music and Siouxsie Happy House sampling Lose Your Mind are also favorites.
While the mid-points of 1313 and Rubbernecking seem to fleet by almost un-noticed; okay perhaps the progressions in Rubbernecking are actually a little bit annoying to the point of distraction. The title track comes late, as the penultimate of the record; sonically spacious comes dangerously close to simplified; a criticism that could also be levied to the closer too which becomes a bit painful as it chugs to a close.
At the best times on this record Paul Epworth’s production hand has been light to the touch methinks, letting the band shine through where they are their brightest; but I wonder, if, at other times, he’s either twiddled the life out of tracks or they were already flat-lining and no matter how many defibrillator paddle shocks he had, there just wasn’t chance for them to make it. - review by Andrew Tidball