On First Listen – Glasvegas

Ed-Another new feature–name stolen from Stylus Magazine but the concept is a bit different–where I listen to records for the first time and report back. Sometimes they’re new records and sometimes they’ll be things I just missed.


So, um, I don’t think I get it.

After listening to this record, two bands popped into my head: Thursday and The Strokes. And as I mentioned elsewhere, this sounds like those two had a baby and, poof, an indie crossover was born. NME has been getting their Avon Barksdale on and has been pushing this band like we were all addicts, but frankly, there’s not too much to these guys.

Their approach and lyrical prowess are, in a word, pedestrian. Women, love, sadness, all the things you’d get from gleaning a high schooler’s LiveJournal. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been emotionally unwound by a girl in years, but Glasvegas’ vocals seem hollow and easy. Their love-lost, psuedo-post punk vocals are unaffecting and sung with little authenticity; you rarely believe what’s being said, though that could just be due to all of the awful cliches. Their delivery is, as I hinted at before, something like that of Thursday’s: Aggresive but with a hint of melody and an attempt at sincerity.

Sonically, though, they are more akin to late-period Strokes. Their use of distortion to manipulate and transform their guitars is similar and actually, quite well done. But they don’t really go anywhere with the tension and power that they build, rather, exhaust all of their fury randomly throughout their songs without direction. This album rises and falls at completely random moments.

In any case, I’m not sold. I will continue to give it a listen and see what I think of it as time goes on. But no, this will not change your life, no matter what NME says.

Glasvegas – “Geraldine”


1 Comment

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One response to “On First Listen – Glasvegas

  1. josh

    Interesting take. Didn’t really agree with the comparison to the Strokes or Thursday. Much more akin to 60’s girl groups and/or a more upbeat twilight sad (this may be only because they’re both Scottish). Enjoyed this review, especially the Wire reference, but a tad bit too academic for my tastes. And speaking of cliches, yes, we all know NME is terrible.

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