Album Review: Pete Fij / Terry Bickers – Broken Heart Surgery

Old rockers, it seems, don’t necessarily have to grow old disgracefully. Former Creation labelmates Pete Fij and Terry Bickers made noiser, more aggressive records in their guises in Adorable and Polak (Fij) and in particular Bickers in his role in The House of Love and Levitation. Here they’ve made a record that is funny poignant clever and, frankly, beautiful.

Largely acoustic, it lets the songs breathe and speak for themselves. As such they are largely uncluttered and (generally) gentle, melodic and for a large part of the record, memorable. There’s enough room for the pair to poke at the subject matter on the record – unsurprisingly, given it’s title; love loss and loneliness.

And there’s the real beauty in the record. For all it’s Simon & Garfunkel and Velvet Underground-isms contained within, it never gets too much, too self indulgent. Take Breaking Up, detailing the difficult ‘who gets what’ on a break-up, Fij sounding like Lou Reed in his delivery, but instead delivering little gems such as ‘She got the car keys / I got run over’ and ‘She got a new flame / I got fired’ all wrapped up in a delightfully melodic (and remarkably Creation-esque) tune.

There’s evidence of these little gems, both musically and lyrically, everywhere though. Single Downsizing is beautifully observed and memorably delivered, but opener out of time is similarly worthy, a heartstopping preview of whats to come.

It’s Parallel Girl that really makes you gulp. Cinematic in its sound, and more ostentatious than just about everything on the album, it gently rocks back and forth, sounds overlapping and mashing together, but never at the expense of the story.

This is growing old not only gracefully, but beautifully as well. Long may it continue.


BACKSEAT MAFIA presents… an intimate evening with Pete Fij/ Terry Bickers at Santiago Bar, Leeds on 9/10/14 . Tickets are on sale now.

bmla_2 to go

Details: Facebook Event

Tickets: WeGotTickets

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