Glas at least half full

You have no reason to be interested, but I\’m in two minds about Glasvegas.

There\’s a lot to loathe. Songs about missing children, stabbings, playground fights and absent fathers suggests an unhealthy level of lachrymose. To be blunt, it sounds like the laddish, beer-spilling, tearful sentimentalism reminiscent of Oasis. And I don\’t mean the good bits of Oasis.

But there\’s a lot to love too. The music – feral, echoing drums, churning guitar chops, and full \’wall-of-sound\’ production – is curiously compelling. James Allan\’s vocal delivery proves this heady mix. His voice lilts, raps and yelps, in proper Scottish (\’Flowers and football tops\’ sounds somehow less trite when rendered as \’Flou-aas \’nd fitba torps\’). At times, his words spill out on the off-beat, like some anguished mixture of the Proclaimers and Eminem.

And the lyrics have the capacity to surprise. \’Geraldine\’ – which starts out sounding like a love song but ends up as an ode to a social worker – is a one-trick pony, but this nag rocks like a Lipizzaner. There aren\’t enough people hymning social workers. These are people who undertake one of the hardest jobs in the world, perpetually making judgements that could result in their demonisation as little Hitlers or negligent liberals. They hold the physical and mental health of some of our most vulnerable citizens in their hands. They deserve more songs.

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