Those lads from Leeds are back with their first album in two years. With predecessor Up, Guards And At Em! Not receiving as much critical acclaim as previous efforts Emergency and Wait For Me, The Pigeon Detectives have removed their polished gloss from their indie-rock hits to aim for something more raw and real, perhaps in the hope it will place them firmly back in indie-lovers’ hearts.
With an opening track like recent single Animal, there’s no doubt The Pigeon Detectives will be embraced back onto the scene with a shaggy-haired, skinny-jeaned hug. Matt Bowman’s loud, emphatic howl over the track provides just the right kind of attention-grabbing sound required to take notice of their return. Reminiscent of early career hit Take Her Back, the album-opener is sure to be a fan favourite.
For much of the album there is a welcome return of jangly guitars and repetitively infectious choruses. From the opening, We Met At Sea drifts through a relationship, from the lust and crush of Animal to the anguish of imperfection in a relationship on I Won’t Come Back. Then mid-album Light Me Up – despite sounding like it might be about self-immolation – reaches the break-up point, though with it’s contagious 80s melody and blasé lyrics, I’m not sure this break-up was a bad thing.
The top tracks from the record are definitely opener Animal and closer Where You Are. That’s not to say the rest is necessarily sandwich filler, but the other tracks don’t grab you quite so quickly. There are mellow tracks like I Don’t Mind and Day and Month which gel the album together, but don’t necessarily offer anything big or exciting or new.
On a whole though, the tracks on We Met At Sea are as catchy as ever, with witty, but not vocabulary-challenging lyrics to boot. While not genre-defying, or even defining, The Pigeon Detectives stick to what they know; lust, relationships and the sort of irresponsible life of general twenty-somethings today. The boys show that you don’t have to have an IQ of 140, a stylophone or a trust fund to make a decent indie record.