Image:  The Pigeon Detectives

Four years are a long time to be away, especially in the unforgiving and forgetful world of music—with new acts coming up all the time, it’s easy to sink into oblivion.

The Pigeon Detectives took that risk, trusting their fans to wait for them, and now they’re back with their fifth LP Broken Glances. Whether it has paid off or not, one thing’s for sure: the band used their time to discover a new, more mature side of them, which makes an exciting contrast to their previous work.

Broken Glances is different to everything the indie-rockers from Leeds did on their first albums. Gone are the cheerful, super-energetic indie anthems to make place for brooding guitars and gloomy lyrics. The opener Wolves perfectly sets the scene for what’s to come in the next nine songs. “I can feel the wolves are closing in, and there’s no more places to hide. I can feel the end as it begins…is it over?”, Matt Bowman sings, and the sombre guitars create an atmosphere of frustration, doom and isolation which lasts through all of the record.

The Pigeon Detectives have grown up and are no longer the cheerful young lads that burst into the indie-rock scene in the noughties, and the album shows that. It’s more reflective and introspective, and the sound is more varied: slow and atmospheric parts are mixed with faster, more anthem-like songs, and there’s even a piano ballad.

The result is a decent indie record showing the band’s development—nice, but a bit too polished and controlled to stand out from the mass of similar records out there. Broken Glances isn’t the masterpiece the band might have hoped for, but it proves that the Pigeon Detectives still haven’t reached the end of their journey after all these years.