If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Many acts get hailed for their sound at first, but are then criticized for not ‘evolving’ after that. Yes, a band can essentially just try to repeat the same trick, over and over again (think of all the albums by The Strokes after the first…), but you should dance with the one that brought you. If your appeal is dark grandeur, a tragic rock that evokes both eighties New Wave and today, like White Lies, it’s best to stick with that, as they have with Big TV.
Big TV traffics in the same epic tragedy as White Lies debut To Lose My Life (QRO review) and follow-up Ritual (QRO review), from the titular opener to closer “Goldmine”. There are a few detours into minute-long atmospheric instrumentals (“Space i” and “Space ii”) and slow piano (“Change”, “Heaven Wait”), but the backbone of the record is the group’s dark vista in such tracks as “There Goes Our Love Again”, “First Time Caller”, and “Be Your Man”. Singer/guitarist Harry McVeigh’s voice fills the vistas and carries the listener.
The eighties New Wave revival was all the rage a decade ago, but then acts like Interpol and Editors abandoned it. Yet Interpol has wisely returned to it (QRO album review), while Editors unfortunately haven’t (QRO album review), but staying the dark course has been the (admittedly younger) White Lies.