The Old Pink House are neither old nor demonstrably pink – but they have a knack for jangly, anxious indie pop with a toe dipped in new wave. ‘Cruel’ was one of the best tunes of last year – in case you didn’t know. ‘Expectations’ is another great leap for a band taking one galloping stride after another.
The riff has a stiff art-rock texture that recalls Franz Ferdinand swagger, as does the irony. ‘Expectations’ can be read as tongue in cheek – somewhat literally (are those actual tongue pops in the background?). TOPH have a gift for subversion – songs that are fun and based around a chorus you can get a grip on – but where the true meaning lingers out of reach.
The spooky ‘Neck Deep’ managed this, and ‘Expectations’ is similarly opaque. Does anything separate infatuation and obsession? Is fascination healthy or not? “I couldn’t wash you off me if I tried.” Yikes.
Pleasing online opinionisers is all well and good but it’s Joe Average you need to worry about – that’s why The Postal Service never sold out stadiums. On that metric The Old Pink House are safe as…..the proverbial.
This is engaging music and while it is smart, it doesn’t painfully bring that to bear. The drumming is powerful, riffs are jagged, bass is thick and syrupy. The synth and keys are beautifully realised. It’s so easy for a band to ‘go synth’ and just plug in a Juno. The synth ostinatos here are crisp and diversified. Check out ‘Talk’ to hear them at their most mesmerising.
‘Expectations’ is fucking brilliant. Again. Call it a habit.
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