The Pigeon Detectives - Emergency
Review by Jack Foley
FOR their keenly-anticipated sophomore blast The Pigeon Detectives have opted to stick to formula rather than tinker with it. The result, Emergency, is distinctly formulaic for the indie-rock scene, but undeniably catchy in places.
Recorded in Monnow Valley, Wales, the LP is released exactly two days shy of a year from their debut, Wait For Me, which has already achieved platinum status.
I’m not sure why there was such a rush to get the second LP out but it occasionally shows. Most songs pander to an established criteria: punchy, pleasing guitar riffs, easygoing melodies, chant-along choruses and laments about love and loneliness.
In that way, The Pigeon Detectives share plenty in common with the bands they’ve emerged with: whether it’s the Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys or even The Kooks.
But while Emergency is therefore disappointing in its dismissive attitude to exploring new horizons, it’s rather like a Friday/Saturday night blockbuster movie experience in that you know what to expect and it delivers.
Some of the thrills are therefore quite impressive. Opening track and lead single This Is An Emergency establishes the formula in suitably breathless fashion and is tailor made to appeal to the live fans, who can chant along with the lead singer.
I’ll Be Waiting is a cracking anthem that benefits from another rollicking chorus and some typically gritty lyrics – the opening line, for instance, is: “I know you think you’re so much better, and we used to get on fine together, now I don’t think that will work, you wanna see me in the dirt”.
While I’m A Liar is rich in melody, stop-start guitar riffs and a hopelessly juvenile but oh-so catchy “ba, ba, ba, da, ba, da” chorus.
Love You For A Day (Hate You For A Week), meanwhile, is the sort of bluntly honest track that bears easy comparison with Kasier Chiefs’ Everyday I Love You Less and Less. It’s suitably anthemic too.
And final track Everybody Wants Me is another riot of breezy energy that again showcases the band’s easy ability to deliver sharp, busy guitar riffs. There’s even a shameless romanticism surrounding the chorus that offers some hope.
Ironically, the two moments when The Pigeon Detectives slow things down slightly emerge as the two biggest highlights. Keep On Your Dress, for instance, adopts a more acoustic strum along approach (reminiscent of Graham Coxon-led Blur or Love Is Not A Competition Kaiser Chiefs), before exploding into a highly charged chorus.
While Nothing To Do With You is a bittersweet slice of daydreamy acoustic excellence that brings a welcome pause to the frantic nature of the remainder of proceedings. The lyrics, too, are wonderfully obscure (wracked in self-doubt and insecurity).
So, while Emergency may lack much in the way of earth-shattering originality, it doesn’t pretend to be anything that it’s not either. Fans who lapped up the joys of Wait For Me will probably find plenty to enjoy here too. And why begrudge them their easy-listening fun?
Download picks: Keep On Your Dress, Nothing To Do With You, I’ll Be Waiting, Everybody Wants Me, Love You For A Day (Hate You For A Week)