Since 2010, Yorkshire based indie rockers The Pigeon Detectives have remained fairly dormant, seemingly devoting the entirety of their energy to their newest release We Met At Sea, except it doesn’t really feel like it. Despite having such a sizable time period in which to create something unique and exciting, there appears to be a notable lack of anything that truly stands out, which is a shame, considering how much I enjoyed their 2008 album Emergency.
The opening track ‘Animal’ promises an energetic and positive venture into the world of ever-shifting relationships, with singer Matt Bowman systematically urging and repelling his listener. This single feels like a raw and slightly bewildering courting song, while he’s telling you to “put your hands in my hands”, at the same time he suspects “your eyes may wander”. However, Oliver Main and Ryan Wilson’s full-on approach to guitar is upbeat and highly intense, it fleshes out the opening into something akin to a shot of vodka: rather instantaneous and yet the effects still linger afterward. This contrasts rather bleakly with the follow-on track ‘I Won’t Come Back’, in which the drawling, aggressive fist-fight of guitars proves far too much, and consequently rather messy.
‘Hold Your Gaze’ does pull things around though, with a commendable use of harmonics and catchy chorus elevating it above the previous material. ‘Light Me Up’ provides what first appears to be a welcome, feel-good change in direction, with a genuinely excellent guitar riff. But alas, this song in particular suffers from rather bland lyrics and sloppy vocals, giving the impression of the Pigeons attempting to be relatable and down to earth, but instead coming off as fairly dull.
Ironically ‘Unforgettable’ does manage to somewhat live up to its title, being one of the few tracks on this album I can actually remember. The song is a recognisable and brief departure from generic lyrics, in particular, the link between verses and the Chorus is a pleasant surprise: “When you say that we won’t make it/I know I’ll be the one to save it.” ‘No State to Drive’ also successfully avoids the mire of mediocrity, with a great riff and generally clever use of guitar and percussion. Whereas unfortunately ‘Where You Are’ ends the album on the rather familiar level, bar some exceptions, that the entire record seems to remain: sadly monotone and unimaginative.
Throughout this album an occasional a beam of the extra-ordinary shines through the predominantly grey cloud cover, but otherwise We Met At Sea fails to make much of an impression.