GLASVEGAS Glasvegas (2008 UK 10-track CD album - Glasvegas are a 4 piece from the tough East End of Glasgow who fuse a wall of sound noise that is equal parts Jesus and Mary Chain Elvis and Phil Spector combined with a pop sensibility inspiredby sixties girl pop and Doo Wop. This their highly anticipated self-titled debut album includes the singles Geraldine Daddys Gone and Flowers And Football Tops)
Glasvegas are a four-piece from Glasgow - the latest band to be championed by industry mogul Alan McGee, the man that "discovered" Oasis. Despite the inevitable hyperbole that has followed McGees proclamation of the band, Glasvegas more than deliver on their early promise with this eponymous debut album. The quartet already showcased their earthy wit and sonic ambitions on singles such as "Daddys Gone," a heartfelt tale of soured father-son relations delivered in an uncompromising Glaswegian accent and set to a shimmering wall of rock & roll. Glasvegas continues in more or less the same vein. Singer James Allen reels off stories of everyday city life over euphonious, pop-edged soundtracks that blend 50s surf rock, layered, Phil Spector-esque production values and the occasional splash of 60s doo wop. Tracks like the arching "Flowers and Football Tops", the confessional "It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry" and the upbeat "Legs & Show" contrast with darker songs like "Stabbed" and "Go Square Go!". The band's down-to-earth worldview combined with their nostalgic sound and surging, sing-a-long choruses makes for a rich and enjoyable musical tapestry.
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. --Chris Long
Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window