Glasvegas Glasvegas Review

Released 2008.  

BBC Review

Scotland's second city has done it again.

Chris Long 2008

Every so often, Glasgow produces a band, say Primal Scream or Franz Ferdinand, who seem so effortlessly capable of massive success that it makes you wonder why the city isn't the centre of the musical world.

To many, Glasvegas are the next heirs to such a crown. Named in a colloquial nod to their beloved hometown, they have been creating a buzz since catching indie mogul Alan McGee's ear 18 or so months ago.

They were the one band every industry high-flier and music hack agreed on at last year's In The City, despite not actually playing at the conference, and started this year nestled snugly behind The Ting Tings at the head of the BBC's Sounds Of 2008 poll. And now, they have every chance of mimicking the Salford duo's success, though they couldn't be more different if they tried.

Glasvegas' music sounds like the east end of Glasgow that gave birth to it; rough, raw and epic, it is a stunning wall of sound that strains the rich rockabilly and doo-wop of the 50s through the raucous brooding rock of The Jesus And Mary Chain to create something timeless.

It was a sound showed off brilliantly in the three independent singles that got them noticed to begin with – Go Square Go, Daddy's Gone and It's My Own Cheating Heart – and it's one that is driven hard across the whole of their eponymous debut.
All three of those starter singles are included, with Daddy’s Gone still standing out as a devastating slab of emotion-soaked songwriting, but they are by no means the only worthy inclusions.

A nod to front man James Allan's former career as a professional footballer, the catchy echo of Flowers & Football Tops, opens proceedings and the exhausting excellence of the band's oeuvre barely lets up until the smacked-out gospel of Ice Cream Van shuts the album down, with only the slightly odd spoken-word piano drama of Stabbed allowing some breathing space.

It is everything you could have asked for from the band. With the pressure on to produce an album worthy of the hype, they have succeeded where others, notably The Ting Tings and fellow Sound of 2008 nominees Foals, failed and delivered a genuinely classic debut. Scotland's second city has done it again.

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