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Up, Guards And At 'Em!

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 April 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Dance To The Radio
  • ASIN: B004LQ1SPK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,530 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

signed album

BBC Review

With The View setting the bar high for indie guitar bands in 2011, and The Wombats likely to do similar, The Pigeon Detectives will have to go some to prove their worth after 2008’s disappointing second album Emergency comprehensively failed to live up to the promise of the Leeds band’s hit-drenched debut, Wait For Me.

From She Wants Me, the execrable first track of this third record, you’d dismiss them for having taken the clichéd guitar band ‘reinvention’ route and gone electro, albeit without learning to play their extremely wonky synths first. For the rest of this plodding, uninspired 37 minutes, you’ll wish they actually had.

It seems The Pigeon Detectives are mired deep in their furrow, as from track two onwards Up, Guards and at ‘Em! retreads exactly the same ground as their previous two albums – chant-worthy, Kaiser Chiefs-y indie-pop of a laddish hue, heavy on catchy choruses, light on lyrical subtlety. Matt Bowman is never going to win any Nobel prizes for poetry: when melodic stand-out Through the Door manages to lift itself out of the general indie sludge that weighs down the rest of the record, Bowman’s lyrics, as clunky as a brick dropped off the Empire State, drag it off into the realms of comedy. One minute it sounds like he’s singing mid-burgling job ("We came in here through the window / But we’ll be leaving through the door"), the next he appears to end up at a firebombed nightclub ("I wanna dance with you but my hands are on fire!"). Ludicrous.

Otherwise the band struggles to dredge up any sort of sparkle, no matter how finely-forged the hook. Go at It Completely and What Can I Say? boast a little of their debut’s florid fire and there’s a scratchy charm to the moments where some fragility emerges (the Strokes-y Turn the Lights Out and the painfully warped I Don’t Know You). But a good third of the album – Done in Secret, What You Gonna Do?, Need to Know This – is a drag to plough through: phoned in, zoned out, treading water, joyless.

Considering the rude health of their competition, The Pigeon Detectives’ game needs to be severely upped.

--Mark Beaumont

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Opens with a sort of electronica to 'She Wants Me' & doesn't really suit their style but then by the minute mark develops into a fine indie piece...the gal is wanting to get rid of the guy (in this case lead singer Matt Bowman "She wants me out of the way"..."but I'm boxed in a corner & I can't get out of here"). Next 'Lost' one of the best extends the predicament as now here he is lost though he doesn't admit it "you don't know what it's doing to me"..."No I was never lost I just got out of here". Great guitar bits. Then a star track 'What Can I Say'. Really beautiful with some fine melodic guitar pieces. Then singer Matt is asking himself more questions on 'Need To Know This' "Well I know they're your friends but I can't speak to them" which is followed by probably the star number here 'Done In Secret' "But you can find out if you come around" and is a supercharged affair plus a catchy chorus. 'What You Gonna Do' though shows a certain sameness & is filler material. The gentle positive 'Turn Out The Lights' (OK now she can stay) and 'Through The Door' ("I wanna dance with you but my hands are on fire") again captures the mood & there is nothing wrong with these two. 'Go At It Completely' more filler & another frustration for our singer. Final 'I Don't Know You' is my least fave here. After doing the review checked out the media reviews & ratings & was quite sorry for the band because the album received a heap of criticism not really merited in my opinion...lesser acts would probably have given up. The album is short on time, the cover & booklet are nothing special plus with 3 filler tracks & even with seven highs then doesn't quite get my top marks. In summary they do create some good modern love songs & are one of the best indie pop outfits around at this moment carrying on the fine older tradition of 90s bands like Shed Seven, Cast, Bluetones.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My husband got me into the Pigeon Detectives and I love their indie rock sound, the rawness of the music, accents coming through, singing with a passion. I was really impressed with their on stage performance, Matts energy is amazing, jumping around the stage delivering song after song with energy and passion so I was really looking forward to the release of this album.

I am disappointed though. Considering Matts claim as to why they chose the title "Up Guards and At Em" was a rallying call to all indie/guitar bands, I felt that the album just didn't live up to the title or the sentiments behind the title.

Their first two albums are raw, you can hear the instruments they are amazing but this one is obviously produced in a studio and it shows with the use of synthesised voice overs etc.

Don't get me wrong, its a good album, I like it alot and have enjoyed listening to it.... its just that it doesnt live up to the previous two.

I would have given the album a 3 star rating but the saving grace was the fact that I heard some of the tracks off the new album being played live and when played live, they come over alot better than on album.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Absolutely loved the first two Pigeon Detectives' albums and this one is no disappointment. Solid from start to finish (as were the first two). If you liked 1 & 2 look no further. Great band live too if the opportunity presents itself.
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