When they first came to prominence, The Pigeon Detectives were the bridge between Arctic Monkeys early rock thrashings and Kaiser Chiefs terrace-chanting guitar pop. Songs like ‘I Found Out’ with its gang vocals and hammer-blow guitars, set the template for their subsequent albums, but if Broken Glances didn't have the bands name on the cover, you would never guess this is a Pigeon Detectives album. There is barely a distorted barre chord to be heard throughout the record.
What is most interesting is the difference these tunes will make to the live set. The band are embarking on a club tour, but this collection is aimed at larger, broader audiences. 'Wolves' is a mournful ballad that nevertheless maintains a groove. The fat bass and disco beats continue on 'Lose Control', which has a '80s revival vibe but owes more to the style of chorus than to any explicit attempt to sound retro. It's the kind of tune that Duran Duran might have written if they were millennials.
'Munro' is their lighters-in-the-air moment, but even so, Dave Best and Jimmi Naylor’s rhythm is unrelentingly fabulous. The band's new direction may eschew the heavy guitars but in its place are singable personal songs and danceable vibes. This new direction is really something. 'Enemy Lines ' has a Brian Eno–esque verse but the chorus fails to match the established ambiance. 'Sounding The Alarm' is a great slow-build radio-friendly tune. There’s a bit of a lull on the second side but ‘Stay With Me’ resurrects things with a pounding rhythm and even a guitar solo.
Closing song ‘Change My World’ is the closest thing on Broken Glances to the heady days of Wait For Me but is a million miles away from it. Its clean, staccato guitar chords come across like a Pixies-marinated britpop tune. The Pigeon Detectives have matured, who would have thought it? They’ve changed their sound, and they’re the better for it.