The Pigeon Detectives – Broken Glances
A new and reflective stance from the Leeds five-piece
We've all done it. Chosen a worthy, if unattainable New Year's Resolution that will definitely transform our lives for the better and instead turns January into a month-long guilt trip. The key to success (according to official NHS advice, no less) is breaking goals down into small, manageable chunks.
Judging from their fifth studio album, Broken Glances, it seems that the Pigeon Detectives – those cheerful, cherubic cheerleaders for uncomplicated indie rock, still going after all this time – have taken that advice on board. So, rather than taking up jogging like the rest us, the lads from Leeds have decided to cast aside their tendency to write 'songs that smash you in the face' and create an album that contains a little more subtlety. They've benefitted heavily from the guidance of producer Richard Formby, previously associated with acts like Wild Beasts and Ghostpoet, and although lead singer Matt Bowman doesn't have anything close to the vocal dexterity of the former's Hayden Thorpe, the Detectives' tilt at reflective songwriting has brought them to interesting new places.
It's an eclectic LP; familiar-sounding tunes like 'Enemy Lines' stand alongside tracks like 'Monroe', which ends on an indulgent two-minute long keyboard instrumental, and lead single 'Lose Control', which sounds as if it was created by a totally different band. The emphatic, anthemic choruses are gone, traded out in favour of moody, brooding themes on 'Postcards' and sparse arrangements of the sombre 'Falling in Love'.
The Pigeon Detectives aren't quite there yet, as evidenced by promising numbers like 'Sounding the Alarm' which displays an instinct for pop hooks which placed them in the noughties' indie pantheon in the first place, before falling back on a regulation chorus line. Still, it's progress.
Out Fri 24 Feb.