Viva Glasvegas!

| 23 Comments

glasvegas.jpg

I have been struggling lately trying to find some new bands to get into. My foray into new music last year happily led me to discover The Wedding Present. However, they could hardly be classified as new as most of their best recordings are more than 10 years old. And while all the cool kids like The Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, TV on the Radio, (among others) I just can’t seem to summon the energy to get past one or two songs without throwing up a little in my mouth. Basically I was resigned to wallow in my Replacements memories and Guided By Voices arcana.

Then suddenly something wonderful happened. I came across a new buzz band that I actually like, love even. Glasvegas is a band out of Scotland (Glascow, natch) and can be best described as a 60’s girl group backed by a bunch of grungy fuzz guitars. Guitars rule here with none of the whiny pretension that smothers Fleet Foxes. Also instead of insolence from some put upon snot-nosed punk or sexual braggadocio, the lyrics are alluring with a hint of doo-wop and matinee idol crooning.

Now I was going to write more about the band and their new album but then in the Friday comments, Jeff L., unprompted, posts this about Glasvegas:

This record really has its hooks in me. If you haven't heard it, it sounds kinda like one of Phil Spector's 60's girl-group pop records, only with Jesus & Mary Chain or Teenage Fan Club as the studio band and a singer that sounds like the spawn of a sexual encounter between Bono and Groundskeeper Willie (sounds weird, I know, but I'm sure Bono really is capable of having sex with a cartoon, and then carrying the child as well; or at least he thinks he is). This is grand Glaswegian guitar pop. Glorious guitars of the electric variety through multiple Marshall stacks, all turned up to 11. Every snare hit a fucking EVENT, like Hal Blaine on the clear AND the cream.
So true and frankly I can’t top that so I won’t even try. Basically you have a choice: You can continue to gaze at your navel in Bon Iver's saltbox cabin, “rawk” out to Vampire Weekend, twiddle the knobs to M83 electronica or I-don’t-know-what with your Andrew Bird whistle-tunes and just languish along with your pop musings. Or you can go with Glasvegas and re-discover music all over again. The choice is yours. So what are you gonna do?

23 Comments

I'm gonna listen to Teenage Fanclub. ;-)

I can hear the Spector/Psychocandy thing (especially on their cover of "Be My Baby"--natch) and a little bit of another Scottish outfit, The Trash Can Sinatras, in the vocals. I hear little to no TFC in the mix. The Fannies can play their instruments and sing. I'm not so sure about these guys...

BTW, If you've never heard the TCS, I can recommend their debut, Cake, without reservation.

http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:hpfpxq95ld0e

"Be My Baby" can be found here if you don't have it.
http://www.zshare.net/audio/54185955ff28ee73/

like Hal Blaine on the clear AND the cream.

That's a good one.

The Fannies can play their instruments and sing. I'm not so sure about these guys...

Legitimate comment, true. It least it's a switch from how good you look first, what you play or how you sing second. Something Casey Carlson learned the hard way last night on AI.

Have you listened to Los Campesinos! yet? My favorite new group of 2008.

And did you get the Speed the Plough? Figured you needed them to round out your Hoboken collection.

Should have called it Hoboken day at LFAD. Trashcan Sinatras, Speed the Plough....

George, I've been meaning to thank you for Speed the Plough. There was some stuff I liked a lot, some not so much. I think I'll end up making a playlist of the highlights but I definitely appreciated you sending that out.

Now I guess I have to check out Los Campesinos!

Just bought it off of iTunes! My love for all that "wall of sound" Scottish stuff started with Big Country back in High School. That lead to The Jesus & Mary Chain, which lead to Teenage Fanclub. I'm looking forward to hearing Glasvegas in it's entirety.

Jeff L., I'll love to hear your opinion, let me know what you think.

Great post, Dean, and thanks for the props.

The TFC comparison may be a bit of a stretch -- I guess it is the huge-guitars-behind-pretty-melodies thing. I do like the singer in Glasvegas (DNR his name), but, this record does lack the great harmonies on the TFC records.

Good call on the Trash Can Sinatras. They don't make band names like that anymore.

BTW, I really like For Emma, Forever Ago.

Hey Jeff L, Glasvegas is coming to the Varsity on April 7. Unfortunately I will be in Florida at that time (I know, cry me a river). But I wanted to let you know. I hope you can check it out and let me know how it goes. I think tickets go on sale soon.

Yeah, I saw that show somewhere on the interweb. All-ages (I think) and cheap tics ($12). The boys have been listening to this record, and we have discussed a possible outing. Have fun in Florida.

hey dean, check out a band called "be your own pet." this is some of most in your face punk i have heard played in years. most songs clock in at no more than 2 minutes plus (1 song is 56 seconds), all delivered by a female vocalist. there are no gaps between most songs either, just like the good old DIY punk of yesteryear. a real hoot!

Be Your Own Pet, got it Timmy B, I'll check it out.

Is it wrong that I really like this Glasvegas album, but I also like pretentious whiners like BoH, Fleet Foxes, and Bon Iver?

I guess I'm about as hipster as it gets, but Be Your Own Pet is the one band mentioned here that I'm not a fan of. I saw them open for Arctic Monkeys a couple years ago and was not impressed.

Hey DK, thanks for stopping by. Of course it's ok if you like whiny pretentious acts like Bone Evair, et al. That's what's cool about music, we all like what we like, who care what others think.

Next week I want to talk about the end of BSG, I hope you join in the discussion as most people who read this blog don't watch the show.

Yeah, I'll definitely be here for and am very much looking forward to the BSG discussion. I'm sure I'll have a lot to say about it.

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