Big Deal released their second studio album, June Gloom, establishing themselves as a recurring feature in indie pop and securing another raft of international festival slots and tour dates. Following on from 2010s Lights Out their new album adds a lot more variation to the duo’s sound, but still contains a couple of tracks that verge on being indistinguishable from each other.
June Gloom opens out with the mellow intro of Golden Lights, which steps up into a higher gear to become a solid pop track. Swapping Spit builds on this with a cool electro-guitar riff and a downbeat up-tempo glow. 80s alt-pop combines with modern indie-rock and smart psych riffs on In Your Car and Dream Machines is a brilliantly darkened beast of a track that sits smartly between rock and pop.
While Call and I’ll Come isn’t as sparkling as earlier songs, it followed up by the clawed vengeance of Teradactol, the track that Big Deal announced the album with back at the end if 2012. It’s filled out by crunching rock and stunning vocals from Alice
Pristine strips this back to a minimalist combo, that’s kind of beautiful at times, but also a bit lacking in impact. Pillow is also on the slower side of the Big Deal spectrum, but it’s just about saved by some ringing riffs. While Catch Up speeds things up slightly, it has little to make it stand up.
Little Dipper is a bleak lullaby that sets itself apart a little with the twisted effects on the guitar riff, but ultimately fails to shake the trees. Pg is equally somber with an added soporific quality and sadly Close Your Eyes takes its cue a little from this. Alice Costelloe’s ringing vocals are heart grabbing though bringing a slight reprieve for the closing track on the album.
The reality is that if June Gloom was a five track EP swapping Call and I’ll Come out for Teradactol on the opening tracks it would be an easy 5/5. However, the the negatives of the later tracks of the album stop it from being a potential classic. That’s not to say that there aren’t a lot of great things about the record, it’s just that they mostly come in first half. Although, in all fairness, it’s worth getting just for the positives. Take a listen to Teradactol below and download it for free to decide for yourself.
Big Deal, June Gloom review: 3.8/5
June Gloom track list:
1. Golden Light
2. Swapping Spit
3. In Your Car
4. Dream Machines
5. Call and I’ll Come
9. Catch up
10. Little Dipper
12. Close Your Eyes