Bronco Bullfrog's third album, Sidelong Glances of a Pigeon Kicker -- their first release on the Madrid, Spain-based Mushroom Pillow label -- is a considerable step up from their second album, production-wise and song-wise. The band's overall sound has greatly improved (especially their vocals), and some of their success can be traced back to them working with the album's prodigiously talented producer, Liam Watson (he's also worked withBilly Childish, the Embrooks, and will be producing a forthcoming fourth album by the White Stripes). Watson -- whose London-based all-analog Toe Rag studio is filled with vintage eight-track recorders, old Abbey Road and Decca soundboards, and gear used by Led Zeppelin and other British giants -- has an obvious knack for drawing out the best from nearly every band he's twiddled the knobs for. His production sheen highlights songs that are infused with the same youthful spirit and boldness found in British psych-pop, circa 1967. At times, this album sounds influenced by the Smoke, the Move, early Who ("Look at Me" and "Sunday," especially), and the Hollies' sumptuous tour de force Butterfly. There's also an early-'70s power pop feel here -- think the Raspberries and Badfinger -- all of which makes for an album full of vibrant, sunny harmonies, concurrently blazing and blustery guitars, and Morten's manic Keith Moon-inspired drums. According to Morten, the title comes from an early-'70s book and movie, Pigeons, about a young, impressionable man who comes to New York City to "find himself" by experimenting with sex and drugs. There's another story the band likes to tell, however, about Morten kicking a pigeon out of his path, only to turn his head to hear a man across the street yelling "hey, ya bloody pigeon kicker!" out of an open window.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Bryan Thomas