Pete & The Pirates - One Thousand Pictures - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Pete & The Pirates - One Thousand Pictures

by Steve Reynolds Rating:9.5 Release Date:2011-05-23

Reading is not renowned as fertile ground for producing bands that stick around for more than five minutes but that trend has most definitely been broken by guitar quintet Pete & the Pirates. Following on from the simplistic pop sensibility of their loveable debut Little Death, they have admirably stepped up to the next level with their sophomore release One Thousand Pictures.

While their debut focussed on short, catchy rhythms and the loveable warmth of Tom Sanders' vocals, their new output has seen them expand their sound, songs and leverage out a new maturity in their song compositions and arrangements. However, this is none too evident on opener 'Cant Fish', with its trebly drawn-out guitar and melancholy arrangement. It's almost pedestrian in comparison to their previous output but certainly makes for an enchanting beginning.

They return to their 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' template on 'Little Gun', a two minute whirl of uplifting, chiming guitar which seems to tell a someone that if you leave me you wont find anything better - bittersweet to the end! Recent single 'Come to the Bar' is wonderfully crafted and the jumpy verses dart around like an effervescent jitterbug.

The dark brooding bass and motorbike guitar on 'Winter 1' yet again pushes boundaries for the band but, as before, it doesn't fail to make you tap your feet and see its beauty, even more so when the organ kicks in for the latter part of the song. 'Washing Powder' and 'Blood Gets Thin' really hold together the middle part of the album beautifully and the driving guitars on the latter are quite irresistible in parts. The clever thing about the band is that they focus on what they do best; the songs seem effortlessly composed and put together. It's a clever knack that not many of their peers can do. 'United' demonstrates this on all fronts. Move on to the finale, the glorious 'Half Moon Street' which seems like an ode to broken love and romance but demonstrates their ability to craft such myriad mellifluous melodies against a houseful of broken hearts lyrically.

Indie pop in 2011 probably won't get much better than this!

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