For those people who may think these whole ‘New Yorkshire’ business is a bit last year, then look no further to the Pigeon Detectives to disprove your theory. A steady stream of independently released singles and the inevitably large exposure on MySpace has meant that they’re currently selling out venues bigger than the Kaiser Chiefs did at the same stage of their career.
It’s easy to see why they’re so popular. They have the knack of making spiky pop tunes with instantly addictive melodies feel utterly appealing, despite the fact that anything original or challenging has long been jettisoned. Just one listen will have you visualising the frenzied moshpit or packed indie dancefloor.
If you’ve heard any of the early Pigeon Detectives singles, you’ll have a fair idea of what to expect. You Know I Love You could be their quintessential song, consisting of great big dirty guitar chords and a lustily sung chorus of “you know I love you…take off your clothes” which, after a couple of plays, is impossible to resist singing along to.
The Romantic Type and I’m Not Sorry are similarly appealing – short, snappy anthems with lyrics that everyone, not least their target audience of late teens and early 20somethings will be able to relate to: namely girlfriend trouble. I Found Out for example is a near perfect summation of trying to get over an ex-girlfriend with lyrics like “I found out you’re going out with him / you would not believe the state I’m in”. It may not be anything clever, but there is a kind of universal appeal.
However, the sheer breakneck pace of the album is ultimately to its detriment. More or less every song sticks rigidly to the same template – short, energetic, shout-a-long choruses and backing vocals – that by the time the album comes to its end, you’re rather exhausted. What sounds so great live (and by all accounts, they’re rather thrilling on stage) becomes a bit stale on record.
So while each track individually here sounds like a breath of fresh air, played 12 times in a row it all becomes a bit samey. The acoustic slide guitars on the introduction to Can’t Control Myself promise something a bit different, but after one minute it’s back to the same old formula again. It’s not that there’s anything bad with that sound, but for a band with undoubted talent it would be nice to hear something a bit different.
Then again, it won’t stop them becoming huge, and you can well imagine the witty age-gap tale of Take Her Back being taken to the nation’s hearts, even if it does swing perilously close to the ‘knees-up indie’ of the likes of The Fratellis.
It’s nothing revolutionary, but for a debut album Wait For Me is a confident, impressive effort that will hopefully pave the way for even better things to come. Bloody awful name, mind….