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Title: Glasvegas
Artist: Glasvegas
Genre: Alternative Rock
Release Date: 30th January 2009
Label: Columbia (Sony/BMG)

Album Review

Discovered in 2006 by Alan McGee, the Scottish four-piece, actually founded in 2003, released their debut single ‘Go Square Go’. The breakthrough came with the second single, being ‘Daddy’s Gone’ in 2007. From there on, the band’s riding on a wave of success with the single being ranked by the NME at #1 of the year’s best songs and receiving the newcomer award of the magazine. After a tour in early 2008 and another limited single they’ve been signed to Columbia Records. Following the fourth single ‘Geraldine’ was the self-titled debut album, which peaked at number two of the albums charts after being released in the UK in last year’s September.

A consistent reverberating current of effect guitars fades into reality and leads into ‘Flowers and Football Tops’, where a 60s Beach Boys happiness is assailing your senses, trying to conceal to the inattentive the story of a mother learning her son would not come back home anymore and the grief she feels about this loss, peaking in a bitter derivative of ‘You are my Sunshine’ surrounded by rapid distorted waterfalls “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine / You make me happy, when skies are grey / I hope you noticed, how much I loved you / How could they take my sunshine away.”

As there’s no gap between this one and the next song you’re just realizing you’ve entered a new one as the tambourine emerges alongside a repetitive melodic riff as the introduction to ‘Geraldine’. Drums on this one are more vivid than before. A little of the 60s aesthetic shines through here as well. That might be, because of James’s way of singing. ‘Geraldine’ is about a social worker talking to one of her fosterlings about being their light when they’re in the darkest and loneliest place, their anchor. Sometimes it’s one special person, showing compassion, honest compassion for someone that can turn everything around.

On the rather slow, and a bit gritty third part of the trilogy ‘It’s my own heating Heart that makes me Cry’, a man gets haunted by his conscience, by all the bad and mean things he’s done up until now. ‘Stabbed’ was one big surprise for me, entirely neglecting anything but a piano playing Beethoven’s Moonshine sonata, and a spoken word performance by James, based on a poem of his. Sullen and not letting a single glimpse of sunlight through, this song goes about two and a half minutes, but its notes still keep on ringing in your mind a long time. Strongly reverberating drums collide with a brittle melancholy radiating guitar melody on ‘S.A.D Light’ and the pronunciation “sad light” light can be understood as a direct reflection of his feelings while singing that song. The title ‘Ice Cream Van’ sounds childish, and it is. It’s what many children associate with a sunny afternoon, and somehow this feeling was made audible by the band with an engaging track oozing ambience. But you also feel there’s a storm brewing off in the distance; something that’s to cloud the clear sky. It’s when reality slips into this dreamy scenario, the cold reality. An absolutely breathtaking finale for this album!

Well, what can I say? My enthusiasm for this record must’ve become overt by reading this little text. There’s something to this sound that initially caught me with the first song and still doesn’t let go of me. I can’t recommend this album enough; especially you should pay attention to the lyrics, performed in Glasgow dialect and with that having another unique touch to them.


01. Flowers and Football Tops – 6:56
02. Geraldine – 3:45
03. It’s my own cheating Heart that makes me Cry – 4:25
04. Lonesome Swan – 2:43
05. Go Square Go – 3:26
06. Polmont on my Mind – 3:51
07. Daddy’s Gone – 4:23
08. Stabbed – 2:22
09. S.A.D Light – 4:00
10. Ice Cream Van – 5:56


James Allan - Vocals
Rab Allan - Guitar
Paul Donoghue - Bass
Caroline McKay – Drums

Website /

Cover Picture


Music: 9
Sound: 9
Extras: -
Total: 9 / 10


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