There is no denying that the Pigeon Detectives have turned out some tunes in their time; with the laddish 2007 hits ‘Take Her Back’ and ‘I Found Out’ they will always have a place in our hearts as the ultimate indie throwback. Perhaps they don’t want to be known as that band anymore: Broken Glances dashes any hopes of it being an energetic and cheeky tale of girls, relationships and drinking from a bunch of young northern lads, but instead is more rained in and professional.
First track ‘Wolves’ is very different from the majority of their previous material. They sound more mature and mellowed than ever. This pattern continues with ‘Munro’ – a soothing six-minutes that explores some disposable synth work that unfortunately makes it sound like they don’t really know what they want to achieve with this album.
‘Enemy Lines’ has a poppy, likeable chorus and finally a flare-up of intensity with a detonation where you feel like they have let go – as a simple yet gripping guitar solo surfaces. However, this feeling is retracted with following tracks ‘Sounding the Alarm’ and ‘Falling In Love’. The former is forgettable and falls flat, but this retraction is not all bad with ‘Falling In Love’ showing a sweet and reflective side that is mirrored in the delicate piano and a sedative outro.
Final track ‘Change My World’ is the highlight of the album, starting with a catchy riff progression and a brisk percussion; it instantly has a Strokes vibe about it. Vocalist Matthew Bowman sings about being over someone, and in the best way possible with a somewhat cheery and catchy background melody; it almost feels like they have rewound time.
The Pigeon Detectives have obviously grown up over the years, and as with most musicians this is emulated in their music. There is just something about Broken Glances that makes it hard to shake the feeling that the vital energy they use to posses has just been drained.
The howling vocals and choppy melodies of 2007 in particular gave them a fun, DIY vibe that made them stand out, but this over time has faded and just isn’t there anymore. This album unfortunately doesn’t outshine their best work in the slightest – but we can’t be young forever, and perhaps it’s time to let go of the past.