Review: Pete Fij / Terry Bickers – Broken Heart Surgery

As members of Adorable and House Of Love respectively, Pete Fijakwoski and Terry Bickers know a thing or two about the ups and downs of life in a British indie rock band. Now they are joined together on what seems like a match made in heaven, or at the very least giving two jaded romantics the chance to bemoan surviving in the modern age.

Pete Fij / Terry Bickers Album Cover

Right from the get-go, on ‘Out Of Time’ Fijakowski admits his helplessness in the world of “texts, e-mails and free downloads”, singing “I tend to see things in romantic views, rose-tinted hues” against Bickers’ ringing guitars. It has to be said, Fijakowski’s voice has matured wonderfully; a rich and sonorous instrument perfectly suited to the downbeat words he intones (although the switch on ‘Betty Ford’ from a Ray Davies croon to a strangulated feline is somewhat disconcerting). Bickers is the perfect foil for his lugubrious friend; offering some beautiful melodies too, especially so on the Richard Hawley-esque ‘Downsizing’ and the gorgeous solos on ‘Sound Of Love’ and he only hints at his illustrious past for a brief thunderous blast on ‘Breaking Up’. Yet the pick of the bunch is possibly the Spaghetti western-themed ‘Loved & Lost’; an epic, noirish, sprawl of a song.

Granted, the duo sound as if they’re going through the motions a little as the album draws to a close but overall this is a triumphant return from two veterans of the indie scene; waving two finger salutes to their modern day equivalents. Deep down they’re happy being sad and this is exactly the kind of record men in their middle ages should be making.

Web Sites:
Pete Fij / Terry Bickers Official Site
Pete Fij / Terry Bickers Bandcamp
Video for Pete Fij / Terry Bickers – Broken Heart Surgery

Further Listening:
Richard Hawley, Adorable, House Of Love

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