Friday, October 24, 2008

The Sound of Scotland

Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters - The Twilight Sad

'Like Billy Bragg in 'My Youngest Son Came Home Today' mode', according to Jim. It's a compliment.

Whereas according to me (in a 30 second mailing list comment I'm lazily recycling)

"If The Telescopes had had more than just 'The Perfect Needle'; if My Bloody Valentine had mastered decent lyrics; if Spacemen 3 had had a bit more discipline, they might have been The Twilight Sad, only not as good.

Singing in a broad Scottish accent over washes of big guitar, The Twilight Sad can hopefully manage to wrest the indie guitar crown away from generic pop rock bands like The Killers and shitty tadium fillers like Coldplay and U2."

So really good music, basically.

Glasvegas - Glasvegas

Lauded as the next big thing by the music press, Glasvegas ultimately fail to fulfil the promise of their demos from last year, turning out an album of bog-standard guitar tunes, like a poor man's Twilight Sad or - given that I swear they play bagpipe on their guitars at one point - a Big Country tribute band.

They're not rubbish, but neither are they as awesome as NME would have you believe. Highlights are 'Geraldine' (primarily for the lyric 'My name is Geraldine and I'm your social worker') and the (almost) novelty track 'Stabbed', which is a poem recited over Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and so gets points for at least trying something different.

Disappointingly one and a bit-note and dull, really.

The Midnight Organ Fight- Frightened Rabbit

This is far more like it. If The Twilight Sad are Arcade Fire with better melodies and lyrics and proper accents, and Glasvegas are Big Country with attitude (trite labels, don't you just love them?), then Frightened Rabbit are the distillation of every Scottish pop band ever (lyrically particularly Aztec Camera) crossed with the indie mega-brilliance of The Wedding Present. Flat, accented vocals, jangling guitar lines and miltary style drumming, combine with razor sharp lyrics to make this the best album of the three.

I'll stick to my guns, but from now on it's war
I am armed with the past, and the will, and a brick
I might not want you back, but I want to kill him
and
and leave the rest at arm's length
keep your naked flesh under your favourite dress
You can hear them here but really, buy the album as well - only then will you realise why I haven't listed my favourite songs off it. It's because they're all brilliant.

Best Scottish debut album since Psychocandy.

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