The Pigeon Detectives – Broken Glances

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Connor Jackson tries to find the line between comfort and crap in The Pigeon Detectives' latest album Broken Glances.

The paper I wrote my listening notes on for this album was, unfortunately, accidentally thrown away. The fact that I would rather go through the bin to find the paper than actually listen to the album again says pretty much everything you need to know. Worse still, I couldn’t find that piece of paper, so alas I did in fact have to relive what felt at first like momentary mediocrity once more. There’s probably a reason that most of the people I’ve asked have never heard of The Pigeon Detectives, or seldom had anything good to say. So, without further adieu, let us delve into the murky and indistinguishable musical musings of Broken Glances.

The album starts quite well – it is reminiscent of The Cure, as a few of the songs on this album are. Prominent, distorted basslines punctuate the opening track Wolves and a slow build proves a promising start for Broken Glances. The lyrics are quite repetitive, but the beat is catchy, and after the opening track I was excited for what was to come. Beyond this point, however, much of their music is extraordinarily radio-friendly, inoffensive loop tracks and poorly thought out lyrics. Ironically, this album’s tracks will probably never be featured on the radio. Lose Control sounds like a poor, carbon copy of Keane, and Keane, as we all should know, are an inimitable British institution. Alas, I pressed on, hoping for something new, something vibrant, something interesting, only to be met by Munro, perhaps the most depressing and tedious song of the album.

Unfortunately, something keeps me from being too disparaging. I found myself somewhat captivated. Snippets here and sections there sound reminiscent of all the musical institutions which enrich our cultural history – parts of Munro sounded distinctly like they could be straight from New Order and, despite being six minutes long, every time I came close to pressing skip a new, catchy section would pull me back in.  The next track might be one of the high points of the album – Enemy Lines provides for the first time a sound which, though not unique, sounds authentic to the bad, rooted in their origins. Founded in 2004, at the height of the indie rock revival with bands like The Kooks and Razorlight being played on repeat on Walkmans across the country, this song truly sounds like the music they first created. Like any good indie band, they’re from the North, and, fortunately, a cosy Northern twang creeps reassuringly into the ever-so-boring lyrics. Enemy Lines, like the band, provide a trip down memory lane, a blast from the past, and created a yet more upbeat tempo for the album.

Short of doing a review of every individual track – because that would be tedium ad infinitum for you and I both – there is little I can really do without giving you what might be the most contradictory bit of advice I can. Listen to the album. Seriously, listen. It is punctuated with moments of brilliance and moments of nausea-inducing inanity. Only by listening to this album yourself can you decide which tracks you like because, undoubtedly, there is something for everyone here. The penultimate track, Postcards, sounds like The Cure if Robert Smith could actually sing and is genuinely a good song. Falling in Love is an exceedingly slow piano track about, you guessed it, falling in love. Changing My World, the final track, sounds like it could have come straight off an early Arctic Monkeys album.

Honestly, I am truly baffled by how much I love to hate and hate to love this album. It might be a good thing I had to re-listen to it because it’s allowed me to catch some of the nuances and appreciate what has been achieved. Yes, it is infuriatingly boring at times, but, like your friends from school who will never leave their hometown, there is something comforting about its presence.

Picks: Wolves, Enemy Lines, Postcards, Change My World
Rating: 3/5