Sniffing jiffy bags is an occupational hazard for the reviewer. Is it a musical masterpiece or is it a letter bomb from a disgruntled band contained within the manila padding? This one felt like a CD and so it turned out to be. The first album from Glasgow band The Viragoes, in fact.
Being not entirely unfamiliar with their songs after encountering them live on more than a few occasions, there was always the imminent danger of disappointment. Would it match their sparky live show? Those live favourites are on there. "Madame Nicotine" still exudes a nervous, unbalanced energy even on the shiny silver disc. "Sunday Morning Hell" struts its stuff with big, broad brushstrokes of guitar and organ giving it all a splash of colour whilst Louise and Lee-Ann's vocals swirl round in your head. Then there's "Escape from Glasgatraz". Now here's a song to sing along with. It's got the lighters waving in the air right from the start. You would have to be a bit on the dead side (or English) to stay still to this one. Right at the end there's a slow one called "Below Zero". Catching this reviewer almost unawares amongst the more upbeat pleasures, this reflective, poetic little song proved to be the cherry on the cake. Affecting in a sort of Nancy Griffith meets Janis Ian kind of way, it proved that keeping it simple works.
Although the flat production detracts somewhat, this is still an album that will bring pleasure to your ears. Strong songs, an undeniable splash of style and an anthem in "Escape from Glasgatraz" restored this Bluesbunny's faith in the Glasgow music scene. This is commercial stuff and deserves a wider audience and that, dear readers, is a fact.