Pilots - Self-Titled
Owain Paciuszko 16/06/2009
Introducing the elements of the band gradually, starting with a bouncing, squelchy bassline, a ragged drum-beat, organ that sounds a bit like the Hitcher's song from The Mighty Boosh, and then the dry vocal of lead-singer Josh Taylor, over which guitars dally curiously and furiously. Lead track Monday's Child is a fine theme song, swaggering and arrogant, as all youthful-rock should be, on the one hand whilst self-reflective and romantic on the other.
Alarms begins with careful, sombre piano over which synthesised strings whisper, before the bassline joins in, raising hairs on the back of the neck. Unfortunately things go a bit awry with the introduction of the verse, discarding what went before to become a Ben Folds-sounding rom-pop tune all chirpy drums and guitar with the piano buried, smothered. It's not a bad song but there was a dark magic to the introduction that renders what follows insipid, like having the rug pulled out from under you.
The post-80s return to their sound with Kaleidoscope, it inspires instant head wobbling with its loose, flowing rhythm and catchy melody, building towards its The Futureheads-esque chorus. On White Gloves Taylor's voice goes a bit Zach Condon (Is the American accent real?), while the song itself manages to sound like a non-derivative (and good) The Killers track, the deepness in the vocal contrasting nicely with the upbeat, bright, breezy sound of the song.
For a band who formed in late-2008 they've quickly managed to hone an assortment of strong songs, all delivered in a unified and diverse sound.