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Glasvegas: Glasvegas

 

C+

Glasvegas

Album: Glasvegas
Label: Sony

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Common reference points for Glasvegas' sound include The Jesus And Mary Chain and Phil Spector (fuzz and wall of sound, respectively), but it's also clear the Scottish band's ambitions reach U2 levels—they want to shake as many listeners as possible into majestic euphoria. They nail it on track one: "Flowers & Football Tops" soars for seven unstoppable minutes, culminating in a somehow-not-laughable rendition of "You Are My Sunshine." It sounds like a love song, but it's actually a would-be poignant epic about the murder of a child, from a parent's perspective. That's the trouble with Glasvegas: The band isn't content to make a blunt point once. Its songs segue into each other, trying hard to match mythic sound with gritty realism ("Geraldine"'s punchline: "I am your social worker"). A band can only indulge in so much unvarying bombast, though, and while none of the songs really wilt (the spoken-word exercise "Stabbed" aside), social realism and continuous rafter-reaching become background noise after a while. It's a textbook example of a promising debut from a humorless band that has nowhere to go but down after the opening cut.