The Pigeon Detectives We Met At Sea on Limited Edition 180g Import LP + Download
"We're a live band. That's where we cut our teeth, that's where we're most comfortable, that's where we have the most fun. That's where we made our name." These are the words of The Pigeon Detectives singer Matt Bowman, on the completion of the recording of their fourth album, 2013's We Met At Sea. You might wonder why you're reading a passage about how great the Leeds five-piece are live when describing the band's latest studio offering. The answer is simple: for this one the band – having already garnered a reputation as one of the most raucous, thrilling live acts in the UK – have siphoned this rip-roar on-stage energy into their most honest, immediate album yet. This is not a ‘live album'. But it is their most alive.
"For the third album we almost went against our instincts at times," Bowman concedes, speaking of 2011's Up Guards, And At ‘Em, which followed their 2007 debut Wait For Me and 2008's Emergency – both Top Five hits. "We reigned ourselves in. On this one we just wrote what came out, really natural, we didn't force anything, and if something wasn't good enough we just threw it away. Where possible original live takes were used – there's errors left in it it all adds character, It just made sense to us to write a record that will translate live and create a rock and roll atmosphere at our shows."
The results shout for themselves. Recorded in the band's home city Leeds at Cottage Road Studios with producer Matt Peel and their sound engineer Andy Hawkins (Kaiser Chiefs, ¡Forward, Russia!, Hawk Eyes, Pulled Apart By Horses) – brought in to ensure the live energy was captured perfectly – We Met At Sea sees The Pigeon Detectives abandon their polished indie-rock for something more plugged in, unpredictable and real.
The album may be rawer in sound, but this shift has not been undertaken at the expense of the back-of-the-cab everyman lyrical wit that the band made their own on their previous offerings. "Hold Your Gaze" is a universal break-up song that hits the throat hard, "Light Me Up" is an untethered Friday night chaos song, "No State To Drive" melodically wags the finger at that fuck-up friend who always go too far.