Well that’s one way to combat the ‘difficult second album’ issue. Just release more of the same, and soon enough after the first album that your successful singles are still fresh in people’s minds. Unfortunately, while some bands perfect their previous work, polishing out the flaws dismissed as ‘rawness’, The Pigeon Detectives appear to have made a worse replica. Admittedly it is festival season and fans will expect new material, but a whole album is clearly a bridge too far for the Leeds five-piece.
Debut album ‘Wait for Me’, which prompted (ridiculous) comparisons with The Libertines upon its release less than a year ago, had its moments, particularly the lively single ‘Romantic Type’. Much of its success came from decent indie hooks and bundles of that meaningless and much-overused term ‘swagger’, but the band has somehow managed to suck all the life out of their music on ‘Emergency’. The criticism which began with the sub-Fratellis stadium chanting of ‘I Found Out’, a song shouted out by drunken jocks enough to put a damper on – if not completely ruin – any half-decent club night, continues on this album, but somehow with even less subtlety.
On many of the tracks it appears that vocalist Oli Main has swallowed a rhyming dictionary and stooped to David Sneddon levels of lyrical embarrassment. This is sometimes hidden well, but on the slower songs you don’t know what to criticise more, the poor lyrics or the complete unsuitability of Main’s brash vocal. if you have tickets for Glastonbury or V this summer, you can only hope that some better bands clash with The Pigeon Detectives . Otherwise I guess it’s an opportunity to catch up on some sleep and recharge your batteries for the rest of the festival.
On a final note, the lyrical piece de resistance comes on ‘Making Up Numbers’ with the line ‘no one’s listening to my songs’. When they sound like this, I’m not surprised.