(3 out of 5)
With a full band now on board, Here We Go Magic has transformed from Luke Temple’s solo chamber-pop project into something that seems like it’s striving for something more solid and grandiose. Unfortunately, PIGEONS doesn’t fully deliver on its ambition or ability. Those folks who have been lucky enough to catch HWGM on their latest round of touring will emphatically attest to how sonically rich and densely textured this band can be; there are moments in a HWGM set that rival some of the most dizzying bouts of shoegaze soundscaping. Yet, with PIGEONS, Temple and his band seem to only be taking a tentative step toward that oceanic sound. “Surprise” stretches into a swooning and chiming beauty, built upon a lolling bass line and spectral harmonies, and “Moon” manages to combine chillwave dreaminess with a darkly ominous groove. Still, for the most part, the album finds the band fine-tuning the giddy, electro-tinged pop of its self-titled debut; cuts like “Old World United” and “Collector” are infectious and insistent, built upon a sort of insouciant, pseudo-New Wave bounciness. Although there’s absolutely nothing here that would disappoint fans of HWGM’s first album (or, honestly, of indie-pop in general), it’s not unfair to point out that this band has a lot of growth ahead of them, growth that will certainly be exciting to watch.
First appeared June 8, 2010 at Shockhound.com.