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The Pigeon Detectives - 'Say It Like You Mean It'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:53 UK time, Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Pigeon DetectivesWouldn't you love to have been in the room when whichever fever-sodden Pigeon Detective came in with the idea for this song? Just to see the panic in his bandmates' eyes as the penny dropped that they're going to have to learn how to play a song with a distinct verse and chorus, made of musical ideas which are different from one another, and not just change the melody over the same four chords.

They must have collapsed, appalled at the demands being made on their collective musical memory. They must have wept bitter tears, and begged to be allowed to return to their comforting, repetitious old ways. They must have been terrified.

Not that it shows, of course. The default setting for the Pidges is one of cocky authority. A little bit of swagger, a wink, a pinched buttock and lots and lots of male bonding, that's how they roll. And for once, all of these things are acting in their favour.

For starters they've got a song which bears repeated listening, and lodges in the brain in a not-disagreeable way. This is new territory for me too, as far as this lot go, so it's quite exciting, really. It also means that they have actually got something to be cocky about, for once.

The verses are the kind of sugar-hooks which the Ting Tings are amazingly good at - in 'Shut Up And Let Me Go' particularly - and there seems to have been a lot of thought put into keeping everything fresh from second to second, with little cul-de-sac rest areas, cheeky guitar solos, and dynamic dropouts in the last verse. It's the sound of a band putting a lot more thought into the arrangement of their post-Libertines lad-indie than they are normally happy to display.

After all, if you reveal that you care enough about what you do to go all-out to get it right, what happens when people don't like it? Doesn't that mean you've tried your hardest and it's just not good enough? That would hurt like hell, surely?

It's much safer to pretend you didn't really give it your all, to hide behind the hackneyed old idea that you can just 'feel' music without having to work at it. To leave in all the mistakes, because that proves you're doing it 'in the moment' and therefore people have to be a lot more forgiving when they judge what you do.

So, as they have clearly put the hours in, as they clearly want people to know that they're trying to leave their tired old ways behind them, and as we are all reasonable people, who could begrudge them a bit of four star treatment, mm?

Four starsDownload: Out now
CD Released:
October 20th

(Fraser McAlpine)



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