Posted on June 15th, 2010 (3:54 pm) by Katherine Parks

If one more stellar indie band comes from Brooklyn this year, scientists should probably start testing the water in the East Side area. With their 2009 self-titled debut under their belts, the Luke Temple-fronted quintet, Here We Go Magic, are ready to deliver unto us their fantastic sophomore effort, Pigeons.

Significantly, where the band’s debut was essentially a Luke Temple solo project, Pigeons represents a more collaborative effort between Temple, Michael Bloch, Jen Turner, Kristina Lieberson, and Peter Hale. The record opens with the funky, pop-driven “Hibernation.” For a record with such a sleepy title, you might think that the song itself would be down tempo and subdued, but this track is quite the opposite. It is peppered with bouncy synth lines, fast-paced drums, and a smattering of guitar. If this is what the new Here We Go Magic is to sound like, we could definitely get used to their style.

Undoubtedly, if you have been keeping track of HWGM the past few months chances are you have already heard “Collector.” The second track on the record, “Collector” has had HWGM fans and us media folk scratching our heads. Given that it was the only light shed onto what the album as a whole might sound like, many started thinking this was the band’s breakout moment. Whether or not Pigeons will bring HWGM widespread acceptance remains to be seen, but rest assured, this record is worth a good listen…or ten.

“Collector” segues into “Casual,” a brilliant explication of the group’s abilities as a psychedelic, multi-person outfit. It’s full of frilly, frenzied tendencies, but it makes for a super chill track. It is at this point on the record where Luke Temple and his cohorts really come to life and prove themselves as an experimental group.

And then, right in the middle of the record, comes “Bottom Feeder.” It’s deliciously slow-tempo-ed, even-toned, ambient, and has Luke Temple exploring the depths of his soft, lower register. The track is sultry and romantic—definitely not something you would expect from the Here We Go Magic of a year ago. Overall, this song comes as a welcome surprise, a wonderful change of pace, and perhaps the most outstanding moment on the entire the record.

Unfortunately the album’s next two tracks, “Moon” and “Old World United,” are something of a disappointment. The latter sounds like it’s based around an early videogame theme. The effect is not so much nostalgia-evoking as it is plain obnoxious. The track also illustrates the ‘80s pop/rock tendencies of this band, while sounding like a trainwreck in the process. Did Temple and his new bandmates just decide to throw in the towel halfway through the record? You might be inclined to think so, but do not give up hope yet, because “F.F.A.P.” gently swoops in to save the day.

One of the album’s strongest tracks, “F.F.A.P.,” is exactly the kind of slow-paced, chilled-out rock you hope for from Here We Go Magic. Here, it seems like Luke Temple and his friends tore a page out of Pink Floyd’s psychedelic handbook. The song slowly builds to a fuzzed-out, rock jam, with powerful drums and a crazy awesome organ synth going on somewhere in the background.

Overall, Luke Temple’s decision to bring on full-time bandmates for Here We Go Magic’s newest record looks to have been a wise move. A few weak moments notwithstanding, the group has created an incredible record, and the band’s collaborative energy is tangible throughout. Pigeons trumps Temple’s debut on every level.

Track List:
1. Hibernation
2. Collector
3. Casual
4. Surprise
5. Bottom Feeder
6. Moon
7. Old World Unite
8. Land of Feeling
9. Vegetable or Native
10. Herbie I Love You, Now I Know

Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

81 / 100
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