The Pigeon Detectives - Emergency
Mark Shields 30/04/2008
There is nothing wrong with average. Average is a good place to be, bang in the middle between the incredible heights of magical musicianship, and the bottom barrel of sub1990s pop. It is place where some acts aspire to be, climbing from the depths of the bargain basement, and where other acts end up, after a stonking debut falling into mediocrity. The advantage the Pigeon Detectives have is they are slightly above average, and that is an even better place to be.
Their debut was all sort of rock and roll and it came at the right time with Arctic Monkeys bringing rock back into the charts. Last years debut was assured, confident and well designed, but by all means completely safe. There were no shocking departures from the structure, no serious changes in rhythm and, in total; it was a massive missed opportunity to make a major difference in the popular rock landscape. Their competent melodies and guitar work gave me hope for a mature second record.
Released so soon after their debut, I probably should have expected that it would turn out like it has - there is hardly anything new here. In fact, there are some songs that sound very alike to their debut album counterparts. That is not to say that what is presented here is bad -, it's more than just good, slightly better than off the rails rock. The melodies that dominant the first record return and the lyrics, whilst being slightly bland, they work well in context. The lead single, “This is An Emergency”, apart from a wavering rise in key that almost doesn't make it, is a good shout along stadium rocker, and others on the album, like “Keep On Your Dress?” sounds again like a band enjoying themselves, but never pushing themselves beyond the comfort zone.
Over the 13 tracks there are some good steps forward taken but no real distance gained - a record so soon after their debut was always going to be seen as “Wait for Me Part 2” and when it sounds so similar to its predecessor you begin to think that their ideas are stuck on repeat. Ultimately, it's average, and what is so wrong with that?