High Praise from High Street, meet Glasvegas

The English press is notorious for its often ridiculous praise of its new potential musical heroes, especially if Alan McGee acts as discoverer.  Being the home of the Beatles can do that.  The newest band receiving the praise is Glasvegas, a contraction of the band’s home town Glasgow with Las Vegas.  I don’t know how the -vegas contractions got started, but the first example of it I heard was how locals in Nashville call it Nashvegas, because of its unbridled attempt to attract tourist dollars through thankless country music promotion, marketing, and spectacle.  Glasvegas seems particularly ill-fitting to attach such high pop culture gloss, but, then again, no one thought the biggest band in the world would come from the rough streets of Liverpool either.

I’ve only been listening to this release for a day, so it’s way too early in the lifespan of new release listening.  Although, bear in mind, I’m also one that usually loves to debate conventional press love-affairs (see a “Jangly Rant”).  While I’m not ready to declare, as NME, “There’s not enough hype in the world for Glasvegas,” I will say that Glasvegas has produced a pretty special debut and I’m not really countering any of the major press here.  There’s something a bit, dare I say, larger than life to their lyrics and instrumentation.  When all the rage in British indie music of late has been to write throwaway lyrics (of which I have no issue), it makes Glasvegas all the more refreshing to hear songs about a social worker (“Geraldine”), the obviously-titled “Daddy’s Gone,” or “Stabbed,” which addresses the rising violent knife culture in the UK over the music of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.”  If Americans love to put a cap in your ass, then the British love to put a knife there and other places.  If you’ve visited the UK, and followed the news, the prevalence of knife violence is astounding.  However, in a time when we have one major political party questioning the value of community organizing and social work, it makes one smile to listen to Glasvegas open “Geraldine,” with “When your sparkle evades your soul/I`ll be at your side to console/When you’re standing on the window ledge/I`ll talk you back from the edge.”  It’s not quite “Say Something,” at this point in their career, but it’s solid stuff.

Speaking of James, I actually purchased Glasvegas because of the praise members of James were giving the band on their recent memorable trek across the States.  In time, I will attempt to put my thoughts to paper of what it meant to see and meet James after 15 years of waiting.  Surreal and magnificent.

Here are some tracks by Glasvegas to chew over.  “Daddy’s Gone” was a hit in the UK last year and since I keep mentioning, “Geraldine,” it’s included too.

Check out Glasvegas, seriously.  The album is currently available digitally in the U.S. through Amazon, iTunes, and Rhapsody (if someone actually uses Rhapsody, can you let us know who you are?).

:::: Glasvegas, “Daddy’s Gone”::::

:::: Glasvegas, “Geraldine”::::


1 Response to “High Praise from High Street, meet Glasvegas”

  1. October 16, 2008 at 5:47 am

    As someone who has hated on bands from this area for awhile now, I can say that this album from start to finish is solid. I’m over the accents, dude. Their album isn’t something I’d usually gravitate towards, but I gave it a few spins and it’s a quality listen. Nice write-up!

    Props for the Jangly Rant reference!

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