The Pigeon Detectives – Up Guards and At ‘Em (Dance To The Radio)

April 14, 2011 by  

There was a time when you couldn’t go on a night out without hearing a Pigeon Detectives tune. Take Her Back was a massive hit for the band back in 2007, as was I’m Not Sorry and their presence at your local indie disco was ubiquitous to say the least. Their debut album Wait for Me was a pretty big chart hit too and big enough for them to release their second album within a year.

And with such a short gap between, both of those albums ended up sounding very similar. A quick listen back to all their singles shows that anyway. Either way, it worked. Both the albums ended up in the Top 5 and it seemed like they’d be one of the next big British bands.

Which is why I see it as a bit of a surprise that their new album, Up Guards and At ‘Em, seems to have come out of nowhere. I don’t remember hearing any new singles recently and I certainly don’t remember anybody telling me about the new album. But now it’s here, is it worth the three year wait? The short answer = no.

That’s not to say it’s a bad album – it’s alright. However, music wise it’s too similar to the previous two albums and although they show slightly more maturity in the lyrics, they don’t particularly make it count as they use the same cheesy riffs they used to pack dance floors with back in 2007.

And this is the main problem with Up Guards and At ‘Em. It doesn’t seem that they really know where they are going with it – a mixture of wanting to grow up yet wanting to stay as successful as they were four years ago. They should have either completely changed their sound or stayed with the same floor filling style from four years ago.

There are a couple of good tunes on it – What You Gonna Do and Through The Door being particular highlights. But if you’re a fan, I’d stick to the first album. If you’re new to the band, this isn’t the place to start.

You can’t blame them for trying, however I think on this album they’ve tried too hard. They end up with quite a bland record, an alienated fan base and not enough new fans to justify it. The only way to describe them is that they are victims of their own success. And it’s a shame.