Album: Glasvegas, Later… When the TV Turns to Static (BMG/Go Wow)

Simon Price
Saturday 31 August 2013 18:19

The album's very name is an anachronism, an analogue title in a digital age. It feels like a band making a heroic last stand. Which isn't quite the case: having been dropped by Sony, Glasvegas have been picked up by another major player, BMG.

But, in spirit, their third album takes them back to their origins as an independent group from Glasgow making defiantly direct music in an age of detachment. The title track, and opener, has James Allan confessing that "I think my friends have all given up on me" and musing that "the outside world looks so cinematic", but by the second verse it becomes clear that it's written from the point of view of an inmate inside a correctional facility. The theme of isolation runs throughout. "All I Want is My Baby" zooms out and in at the same time, Allan sounding close to the precipice when he sings "economic, cultural and social hypocrisy kills me inside..."

There are interludes of surprising gentleness. Elsewhere, on the controlled feedback symphony of "Finished Sympathy", guitarist Rab Allan absolutely excels. In real life, TVs don't turn to static any more. But in real life, bands like Glasvegas aren't meant to exist any more. Be glad that they do.

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