Here it comes then, THAT album, you know the one, every year it arrives – ‘the best debut since Definitely Maybe’, ‘The new saviours of rock’, ‘The new Whatever We Loved Last Year’, blah blah blah. You’d be forgiven for being bored of Glasvegas before you even heard a note of their haunting majesty, tossing them aside as another McGee obsession who look a bit like The Clash. Move along, nothing to see here, etc etc.
Except, Glasvegas DO have the songs. Remember when the first Suede album arrived on the back of a huge wave of hype, but you knew it would work because you were already well acquainted with ‘The Drowners’, ‘Metal Mickey’ and ‘Animal Nitrate’? Similar scenario here, the album is worth the dosh just for ‘It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry’, ‘Daddys Gone’ and ‘Geraldine’, a storming trio of epic brilliance.
Yet, it’s not all about the singles, the album kicks off with the doo-wop My Bloody Valentine excellence of ‘Flowers And Football Tops’ and instantly you are grabbed by the shimmering wall-of-sound Spector-esque magic on view here. The voice, to be honest, might grate somewhat, but you can’t deny that soaring instrumental sheen. ‘Go Square Go’ is a highlight, a stomping rocker, with the chilling kiss-off “I can’t go home tonight, here we fucking go” – this isn’t “She loves you, yeah yeah yeah.”, Toto…
If there’s any downside here, it’s ‘Stabbed’, where suddenly the gritty realism seems slightly too much over a tale of, yes, getting stabbed. Yet even this, has a beautiful backing, a haunting piano refrain that stays with you long after the slightly cringeworthy lyrics are forgotten.
Album of the year? Nope, we’re still going with The Gaslight Anthem for that. British album of the year? Er, Late Of The Pier? Look, don’t read this bit looking for the soundbite, it’s a great great record and that, my friends, is good enough.