Saturday, December 06, 2008

Band of the Month: Glasvegas

So, we've decided that the whole "Band of the Week" thing wasn't working too well, and have now updated it to "Band of the Month". We weren't holding up our end of the bargain for weekly updates, anyway.
Now, on to the newest Band of the Month...

Band: Glasvegas
Discography: 2008 - Glasvegas
Background Ramblings: Formed in Glasgow, Scotland...their name is a combination of Glasgow and Las Vegas.

Sharon's Rating: 3.5/5

Sharon's Thoughts: I like them. They have a very soothing sound and are fun to listen to. I like his accent, and the way it sounds like he's putting everything he has into a lot of the songs; like he's throwing his entire self into his voice. I like that kind of unabashed emotion in a vocalist.

Favorite Songs: "Flowers and Football Tops", "Polmont on My Mind", "Stabbed"

Dusty's Rating: 4/5

Dusty's Thoughts: Massive reverb-laden songs that fill the entire room with sound. I love the guitars. I'm also a fan of his voice...even if I can only understand a fraction of what he's saying. Some of the songs have a definite 50's doo-wop sound to them...only modernized a bit.

Favorite Songs: "Flowers and Football Tops", "Geraldine", "It's My Own Cheating Heart that Makes Me Cry"

Next band: Bjorn Norestig
Feel free to join us and write your thoughts in the comments.


Fosterface said...

Johnny Come Lately's review of 2008 also-rans:

1. Cut/Copy - In Ghost Colors: someone invented a time machine successfully and all they did was go back to get Robert Smith from 1988 and the members of Haddaway from 1994 so they could make a cd. I'm disappointed in humanity but am glad that this cd was made. 3/5

2. Why? - Alopecia: not going to be my favorite of the year or top any list, unless it was best ElectricLarryLand imitation cd of 2008. But it's amusing. 3/5

3. Beach House - Devotion: man, am I glad I waited so long to listen to this one. It's soaked in reverb (which I think is the most encountered phrase of 2008 music reviews - watch for a lot of reverb-heavy pop songs in 2 years) and runs at a pretty slow tempo. On top of that the female vocals are just the right mix of Kim Deal throatiness and whisper. It's extremely chill and is great for warming up the cold January days. 4/5

4. Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer: this will take a couple of listens to really enjoy, but the standouts are exceptional. The crazy vocals are there, but the specific poignancy in songs like Grounds for Divorce is gone. That's o.k., since there was just a different aim with this one. 3/5

5. Mars Volta - the Bedlam in Goliath: I know you said you weren't a fan of this band, but here's a review anyway. They return to structure and rocking out on a scale not seen since Comatorium. Most songs clock in under 10 minutes! Not by much though - this is still the same Mars Volta. Even some of the longer tracks have what could be considered hooks, compared to other MV work. After being a little disappointed with Amputechture, I was glad to see this release. 3.5/5

6. Ladytron - Velocifero: The only hype given this release is that two tracks are sung in Bulgarian. The first, "Black Car," is made into 100% awesomeness by that trick, and it carries so much momentum that even if the next three songs on the album were awful, I'd still listen to them. As it turns out, they're not bad. The album as a whole has an early 90's throwback sound, kind of like the sometimes-Bulgarian-speaking, club-attending cousin of the Cranberries. It would make a good addition to any barroom jukebox. 3.5/5

There you have it. I'm not saying these should be included on "best of" lists, but they shouldn't be ignored either

Fosterface said...

Re: #3, I just saw this and realized how stupid it sounds to say a record is "extremely chill" and yet still able to "warm up the cold January days." It's relaxed and surf-y, is what I meant.

Fosterface said...

Listening to Glasvegas for the first time, these are my impressions (I know, you have a 3 listen minimum for reviewing purposes): the instrumentation is great. Dreamy and loud. The vocals drama a Bono-esque drama in them, which fits very well with the instrumentation. If someone had told James Allan that there are 8 settings between 1 and 10, the album would warrant the praise it's received. Singing "Sunshine" at the end of a first track on a debut cd is gutsy, but it doesn't fit when sung with that strained drama. It comes out sounding... strained. The album continues on that note for the next four or five tracks, and by the time you hear "Daddy's Gone," where Allan's vocals finally show a dynamic range rather than a constant, you're worn out. 2.5/5

Dusty said...

I've read a number of reviews of this album. So far I've come across a ton of reviews stating how they're not as good as everyone says they are...and exactly zero reviews saying that they're good.
I understand the complaints...really I do. But I still can't help but smile every time I put this album on. There may not be much to it, but the hugeness of the music overtakes me, and I can't help but love it.

Fosterface said...

By "praise it's received" I meant "praise Dusty's given it." You and metacritic are my sources for music anymore. Of course, their scores are based on others' reviews, and they all let me down with the Bug.

Dusty said...

I came across Glasvegas having heard nothing about them. The sounds that came from them were fantastic and completely unexpected. I think that's why I love it so much. If I had heard people hyping it before I had heard it, I probably wouldn't have liked it so much.
If I could go back in time and take back all the words I said about this album so that you could hear it with no preconceived notions, I would.