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3.9 out of 5 stars77
3.9 out of 5 stars
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2008
For once you can believe the hype - the Glasvegas debut album is stunning. James Allan delivers his songs in a very Scottish voice indeed which will not be to everyone's taste but it lends real authenticity to his lyrics of contemporary Glasgow life: stabbings; absent fathers; social workers; paranoia and broken childhood dreams.

The music is guitar driven with strong percussion but it stands apart by way of its shimmering guitar backdrop, almost a `wall of sound' shining like a dirty jewel. The songs soar and are almost anthemic but are never dull due to the power and meaning behind the lyrics.

The singles `Geraldine', `Flowers & Football Tops' and the poignant `Daddy's Gone' are truly superb and rightly celebrated, but for me `It's My Own Cheating Heart..' is stunning with its pounding guitar line and lyrics delivered from the heart. `Glasvegas' shows amazing confidence for a debut album; `Stabbed' features a dreamlike lyric about imminent wounding spoken over Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. The band are also not afraid to sing a snatch of `You are my Sunshine' at the end of `Flowers & Football Tops'; both of these tricks work superbly. The final track, `Ice Cream Van' begins almost ethereally but gradually builds to a crescendo of guitar noise and is a fitting finale. Even the foul-mouthed singalong of 'Go Square Go' makes sense when you listen to the lyrics.

`Glasvegas' is a great record and shows how effective music can be when it is delivered with passion, meaning and authenticity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2008
Even on a few listens, this is a stunning debut album, and for once the hype of the music press seems justified.

The opening and closing tracks are sublime. Flowers and Fitba tops is a good an album opener as the Smiths "the Queen is Dead" or the Roses "I wanna be adored", whilst the outro to the final track has a very dark, anthemic feel to it, totally attuned with the underlying feel of the work.

In between, "Go Square Go" gives us the chant of 2008 winter tours in "Here we F***** go". There isn't a filler here, although unlike previous reviews, the spoken word track (Stabbed) doesn't work for me. Certainly nowhere near the Cribs "Be safe" in this field.

In terms of similar sounds, can't immediately seem the similarity to the Mary Chain. Yes they are Scottish, working class and have a standing drummer,but Glasvegas are not driven by the riotous feedback of the Reid brothers. In my mind they're more akin to the Bunnymen, or for the current generation there are similarities (in guitar work) to Interpol and Editors.

Really looking forward to seeing this band live on their current tour of small venues. There are traces in the album of guitar work simiar to My Bloody Valentine, and it will be interesting to see if they try to replicate this live. Not sure how an English audience will react to the Scottish accent - perhaps a reverse of a Scottish audience never really taking to Oasis' Manc tones. But good to catch them now - they will be massive next year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2009
Scotland has a history of producing unique bands- Primal Scream, The Phantom Band, Mogwai, Arab Strap and The Jesus and Mary Chain to name and shame some of my favourites. Glasvegas are very Scottish in their form, their content and of course the delivery. Songs deal with stabbings, broken homes and child murders while JAMC style drumming and feedback underpins the Motown rhythms and melodies.

It shouldn't work, but in the main it does (Stabbed is particularly awful- a monologue on football violence recited over the Moonlight Sonata- just skip it when it comes on). Soaring, heart-on-sleeve songs that never depress, with standouts being Daddy's Gone, Geraldine and It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry.

It's not without its faults though, 'Stabbed' notwithstanding. Glasvegas songs have a tendency to begin to sound very similar, though their relative youth as a band may excuse this. If they mature their sound in time then we have the makings of a very special band.

One more thing, having mentioned The Phantom Band, I feel it necessary to point out the travesty of this year's Mercury Prize shortlist. Kasabian but no Phantom Band?

In short, if you like the fuzzy, scuzzy end of guitar rock then you should ceratinly investigate Glasvegas. If you think that The Jesus And Mary Chain are the most overrated, unlistenable racket ever, don't bother.

The Mary Chain playing Motown.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I had been waiting for this CD to come out since l first hit them on you-tube. The songs are all of different themes, and the tempo does change, don't expect Daddy's Gone, and Geraldine, to be the set style.
But the styles suit them so much. You wouldn't think Glasvegas could do slow tunes after their 1st 2 singles.
I ask anyone who buys this CD to read the lyrics, some will have you in tears. I'm not sure what the average age member of the band is, but the lyrics are of a massive artist. Where else do you hear words like
"I'm sorry mam for all the things l said when l was 10", and l think yes!! l wish l could have said that to my mum now.
There is no way this band are going away they are here to stay, and l have got 1 more group to add to my favourites. really cant praise this album enough. Though being of large build and 51 playing the Cd as loud as it will go, l do get the funny looks, but l don't care,l want everyone to enjoy it....especially Daddy's Gone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Amazon have been posting this album as a recommendation
for me for weeks now, so finally I gave in and bought it.

By the clearly magical force by which such assumptions are made they
were entirely right, on this occasion, to have brought it to my attention.

It's good. Very, very good as it happens.

The retro-chic wall of sound is both evocative and affecting.

Mr Allan has a fine voice whose vernacular splendour is
darkly humorous and grittily convincing.

A great little band whacking it out like there's no tomorrow.

Somewhat late in the day and with little else to add that has not
already been written by my esteemed co-listeners I can do no
more than concur that this fine album should be an essential
inclusion in any sane and upstanding person's musical collection.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 29 September 2008
Hmmmm, I bought this album after waiting nigh on a year for it. It was the first time in years that i was actually EXCITED about buying a record!

First the bad news....If you loved the original DIY versions of the singles 'It's My Own Cheating Heart that Makes Me Cry' ( one of my favourite songs of the decade, the guitar refrain makes me melt, and recorded perfectly for me on original release)and 'Geraldine' you might be a little disappointed.

Radio friendly re-recorded versions of these songs placed virtually at the start of the album kicks it off badly for me. The usual major label inteference. On first listen I was devastated.

But....The good news, the original versions of the above songs wouldnt have fitted into this 10 track opus in their original guise anyway and this actually isn't a bad thing.

The recording of this album (buy it on vinyl if you can) is lush, vibrant and many tracks (well, the first 5 anyway) segue into a victorious cacophony of atmospherics and crunching guitars.

For me the real victory in this recording is the downbeat final 3 tracks (Stabbed, S.A.D. Light and Ice Cream) which on listening usually a)terrify me and b) nearly have me in tears. And that takes something. Whoever came up with the idea of using the lyrics to their originally recorded version of 'Stabbed' then underpinning it with Beethovens 'Moonlight' Sonata should be awarded a chufty badge in my opinion. It works really well.

After my initial disappointment, I absolutely LOVE this record now. It wasnt what i was expecting, growing up listening to J.A.M.C., The Wolfhounds, MBV and The Wedding Present in the 80's, my ears are more tuned into abrasive and discordant music and in all honesty I was expecting an 80's indie album in the ilk of the previously mentioned especially after their first 2 singles, but for sheer emotion, power and honesty, this record returns in spades, especially with a nice bottle of red wine in tow.

Highly recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2008
Maybe its a colloquial thing: I'm holding my hands up straight away to admit, yes, I am a Glaswegian and thus perhaps more pre-disposed for enjoying Glasvegas than your typical home-counties type (although, perhaps it has a special exotic appeal to southerners that I can't quite appreciate). Not since The...(nnnnnngh!)...Proclaimers were in their prime has an unadulterated Scottish accent graced a hit record so stridently; this time it doesn't even induce the usually ubiqutous "Tartan Cringe" in me. There is something patently thrilling about hearing the cry of "Go Square Go!" at full volume - what next, "Haunders!" or even "Keeyzees nae comebacks!"?

Of course, its not simply the novelty of hearing local dialect that make them a bit magical. Glasvegas are a band that wear their influences on their sleeve, and I'm not just meaning their all-black leather biker jackets and the Roy Orbison raybans.The Jesus & Mary Chain loom large, as does Phil Spector and that 50's surf rock'n'roll balladeering; lyrically, premier Falkirk miserablists Arab Strap deserve a shout, not least for the bleeding raw emotion on display.

Reviewers who decry a lack of original thought should recall The Strokes' debut and the impact it managed to make (yes, yes, I know they ran out of steam by the second album but they pretty much revived indie rock as a pop medium after that turgid 1998-2001 period). The fact is, whilst the rest of indie-pop land is in thrall to Mardy Bums and trouble at t'mill, or are making music with their big brother's old Commodore 64, Glasvegas are happily plowing their own unique furrow: NO-ONE out there sounds like them right now. Oddly enough, I can see a cross-over appeal with guyliner-clad emo fans - maybe its time to lose the insincere Americans for a bit in favour of something closer to home (and gothier-than-thou) eh kids?

My only misgiving is the feeling that after about 5 songs (misfit oddity "Stabbed" aside), there is the distinct feeling that the band start to repeat themselves somewhat; then again, I said that about Nevermind and that never did Nirvana any harm. Then AGAIN again, I do have reservations about their long term future if they do indeed turn out to be one-trick ponies. In the mean time, lets just bask in the moment where a (genuinely) good Scottish band are top of their game. <satisfied sigh>...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2008
i first came across glasvegas some 12 months ago on myspace and have eagerly awaited their debut album since then i have to say i'm not disapointed right from the start they sing about (with emotion) what is going on around these days with some really beutiful and moving lyrics they have come up with an album of great quality so why only 4 stars? well to get 5 stars it has to be a wish you were here, revolver, and it doesn't get to those height but it certainly is a very good album and i defy anyone to say anything less!!
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on 18 October 2012
Cant believe this album has received some negative comment, think alot of it is backlash from the hype on its release, people were expecting an epic and if it didn't quite hit the dizzy heights they were promised there was a backlash! Luckily for me i only stumbled on Glasvegas 2 years ago and so the hype wasn't a factor so i just listened to it with no expectations, just hope, hope that it would be a ok. Ok, there are a few tracks that i still skip if im honest, Go Square and stabbed for example but the rest of the album more than makes up for those and the first 4 tracks are in my opinion the best opening combo on any album i own,that have to be played at full volume, the final two tracks too, Ice cream van and SAD light are also amazing and round the whole album off a treat. Great stuff from Glasvegas, as you can now pick this up for a few quid on Amazon,what has anyone got to lose,its worth that for Geraldine alone!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 19 September 2008
Where have I been all summer?? Never had the pleasure of seeing this lot live but bought the album the day after it came out. It's pure emotionally charged indie rock n'roll meets Phil Spector. It's too easy for Indie bands to all sound much the same these days but Glasvegas have managed to find a slightly different sound. Lyrics are a bit dark in places but they're real for a lot of people. To be fair Stabbed is a step too far. I'd have preferred 9 tracks without Stabbed. Also, even though my Ayrshire accent is probably worse, the Glesca accent is a wee bit overdone in places. That can cut both ways with wider audiences, it remains to be seen how the album does outside their powerbase.

All in all its an impresive debut, reminded me of so many things.... roots like the 'phonics 1st Album, big anthemic choruses like the Manics, Phil Spector wall of sound, hell there's even a touch of Joe Strummer in there so... all in all quite a heady mix.
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