The next big thing to come out of Glasgow. That'll be Glasgvegas then. Those Fratellis had better watch out.
Well, there's good and bad here on their debut album. The standout tracks are the singles. "Geraldine" stands out loud and proud as it did on that 45rpm slab of red vinyl. Likewise, "Daddy's Gone" shows no small amount of swaggering style. Unfortunately there is also a downside.
Going the Phil Spector meets the Ramones production route seems an unfortunate choice. James Allan, who wrote all the songs, seem to be a man with a social conscience but he has a tendency to "working class hero" posturing. It doesn't help that everything is swathed in reverb that makes him sound like the priest in a big cathedral preaching to the unwashed. Some of the songs - like "Stabbed" - veer dangerously close to pretentiousness. Perhaps, a disservice is being done to Mr Allan here but only a second album will prove the case one way or another.
Besides the imminent danger from "Glasvegas - The Musical" (an idea that will surely attract lottery funding and a long run at Glasgow's Tramway Theatre), you get the disturbing feeling that this is a fairtrade release. Much as people buy coffee from people who are treated nicely - by the same multinationals that, a mere five minutes ago, were offering 10 cents for their entire crop - to cleanse their conscience, this could be the album that lets the socially aware amongst us to say that they have a album that features songs about vicious, drug addled, drunk Scotsmen who are actually just trying to survive (the wee lambs…). Hey, we're down with the kids on the streets. We care and we have the proof - we bought the album.
The sound quality of the LP, despite the heavyweight vinyl - was nothing special.
Whilst I remember, you also get a free party game with each LP. It's called "How many times do the words Sony BMG appear on the cover of the LP". For the finger counters amongst you, you'll need to use both hands…