Release Date: May 23, 2011
Record label: Stolen
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
It is quite fitting to be reviewing One Thousand Pictures so long after it was released. Three long years have separated Pete and The Pirates' excellent debut record Little Death and this follow up, with the Reading quintet taking three attempts to produce an album that they were satisfied with. Worrying news for those on the outside looking in. Five minute long first single ‘Come To The Bar,’ with its surprisingly downbeat, bleak aura didn’t alleviate the impending fear that Pete and The Pirates might piss it all up the wall.
In the deluge of indie pop that followed the [a]Libertines[/a] and [a]Arctic Monkeys[/a] whirlwind around 2005 – known today as Hurricane Pritchard – a few rough gems did fall to earth. One was 2008’s [b]‘Little Death’[/b], the lo-fi debut from Reading’s [a]Pete & The Pirates[/a], a band so airy of melody, (seemingly) upbeat of mood and economics student of accent that they had to be also-rans. Few lingered long enough to realise that – like Animals That Swim, Clearlake and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci in the ’90s, or Stornoway last year – they’d quietly knocked out one of the indie albums of the decade, full of pathos, perkiness and pure pop perfection.They weren’t going to be ignored second time around.
Peter Hefferan and his would-be dandy highwaymen have made it to a second album without making an enormous impact, but there's surely a place for pop music made with such love and craft. Something like a cross between the Kinks and Television Personalities, the Reading outfit write slightly psychedelic, pithily whimsical songs about the British way of life. This time around, they've added a sprinkling of synths and the occasional Giorgio Moroder pulsebeat, with varying results, but their forte remains well-observed, understated guitar pop.
If only more indie-pop had half the nous and route-one fun of A Thousand Pictures. Martin Aston 2011 Under the radar for the last three years, Reading’s Pete & The Pirates have been stealthily gathering pace and fans, road-testing a brilliantly bittersweet pop concoction that’s not just another nabbing of Libertines, Strokes or Blur influences. Their debut album Little Death – a celebration and commiseration of teenage-hood’s giddy fumble for orgasmic release – was instead a Home Counties spin on the sublime guitar-pop of New Zealand’s legendary cult label Flying Nun (as in The Chills, The Clean, The Bats, Abel Tasmans and more).