First impressions of 'Glasvegas'

Almost a year since first bigging them up on here, Glasvegas have gone from latest-buzz-band-from-Glasgow to NME cover stars to festival slayers to almost-top-ten stars. It's safe to say that I've been looking forward to their debut album more than any other this year.

At least half of the album are songs that've been floating around in various demo forms for a while. They all finally sound the way you'd always hoped - massive, with the drums turned all the way up, with the feedback rippling gently but powerfully (check out the way the record begins, with 'Flowers and Football Tops' taking a couple of minutes to simmer before those drums kick in), and suitably grandiose. 'Geraldine' and 'Daddy's Gone' are already colossal live favourites, and others will follow. If it's not already, then just watch 'Go Square Go' get people singing its "Here we fuckin' go!" refrain in the very near future. Only 'Stabbed', in its new slowed down, piano-led reworking, doesn't quite sound its best. Check out the original sounding version below. Also, I've put up a cover of Glasvegas' finest song by Carl Barat's band Dirty Pretty Things which manages to suck out all the essence and emotion from it.

And as for the newer songs, there's nothing quite as jaw-dropping as those that were demos, but 'Ice Cream Van' sends us home with a slow-turns-huge finale; and 'Lonesome Swan' is pretty rockin'. I think it's a good thing that James Allen has such a thick Scottish accent, because if you knew what he was saying, you'd be in tears most of the time. This is a sad album, guys. From 'Flowers and Football Tops', about a mum finding out that her child's just dead, complete with a devastating verse of 'You Are My Sunshine' at the end; to 'Geraldine' (about the "deep and darkest place around"); to 'Daddy's Gone' - nuff said - to the promise of "a storm on the horizon" in the final track. Oh, and there's a song about winter depression ('S.A.D. Light') and 'Go Square Go' about bullying at school. And yet it sounds so warm, so approachable, so sensitive, so not-want-to-kill-yourself.

They're coming over to the U.S. later in the year, go and see them if you live in a town that isn't shit. The band are interviewed on the latest Music Weekly podcast, which always deserves a shout out. 'Glasvegas' the album is eloquent, moving, sad, heavy, everything. It'll make you punch the sofa in time to the drums, and you'll listen repeatedly.

Glasgow does it again. Your turn, Edinburgh!

[download Glasvegas - I'm Gonna Get Stabbed (demo)]
[download Dirty Pretty Things - It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry (Glasvegas cover)]

[Glasvegas - myspace / official site]


Jim said...

I understand what he's saying all the time, thankfully I've stopped crying on the bus to work now though.

I prefered the single version of Go Square Go, the intro was fun.

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