Two years after their debut A Brief History of Love, The Big Pink have returned to try and conquer the difficult second album syndrome. It seems this time round Milo Cordell and Robbie Furze are taking a slightly different approach to their music, with talk being thrown around of a more hip-hop inspired record centred on samples and drum machines, rather than the explosions of shoegaze guitar and experiments with the power of sheer noise that defined their debut. This change is largely clear in the music throughout but the question begs, have The Big Pink pulled off making a different and exciting record without getting too lost on Future This?

Opener ‘Stay Gold’ is the most similar sounding song to the debut album, notably nodding towards signature hit ‘Dominos’ with its instant sweeping chorus, primed for the festival sing-alongs and match of the day montages. It’s a bit one-dimensional and occasionally borders on lad-rock, but acts as a harmless uplifting attention grabber as Robbie’s lyrics boast “We’ll write our names across the town” as carefree as you like.

It’s after ‘Stay Gold’ that the hip-hop influences become more overt. Single ‘Hit the Ground (Superman)’ samples Laurie Anderson’s oddball vocoder hit ‘O Superman’ and appropriates it towards tales of young life in the city on the “Night bus” and with “Plastic bags full of cans." ‘Rubbernecking’ is also instant, launching straight into its chorus without restraint, as Robbie laments emphatically about being too busy “rubbernecking” to realise his house is burning or that his boss is dead, while Milo’s anthemic synths and vibrating drum machines busy themselves firing off all cylinders.

The most triumphant moments of Future This are when risks are taken. ‘Give It Up’ is the perfect embodiment of The Big Pink’s development as a band into new and exciting territory, while still maintaining their killer pop nouse for a chorus. The track starts in the way you’d expect most West Coast 90s rap to, with disjointed brass samples thrown in before revealing an R&B inspired chorus so insanely catchy it could rival the mainstream appeal of ‘Dominos’ with the right exposure. Meanwhile the album’s centre piece ‘1313’ displays similar unabashed ambition, sounding a bit like a boosted version of old tracks like ‘Too young to love’ with loud walls of guitar feedback coming into play for one of the only times on Future This. It also carries a sinister thump that sticks with the listener as Robbie reveals tragically “I’ve been waking up just to sleep again."

The album has a few duds - ‘77’ is a lazy track that feels a bit clichéd and done already as Robbie talks of rejection and being left with “77 ways to say no” over gentle piano strokes, a far cry from the otherwise relentless upbeat record. Meanwhile ‘The Palace (So Cool)’ has Bowie like glimpses of promise, but doesn’t quite live up to the strength of other tracks surrounding it. But the fact that The Big Pink haven’t succeeded in some areas is still testament to just how many ideas these two guys have between them. The Big Pink’s “Hip-hop” record isn’t entirely Hip-Hop, but it is a fascinating and largely infectious record featuring massive choruses and hooks, and most importantly of all shows The Big Pink possess the power to evolve and adapt by trying new ideas. And when those ideas do work, the results are pretty special.