Recorded on the same desk that produced Pavarotti‘s “Nessun Dorma,” the third album from Glasvegas suggests that the Scottish gloom merchants have no qualms about turning their Spector-meets-shoegaze wall of sound up to eleven. Later… When The TV Turns To Static, therefore, may sound grandiose. But drenched in just as much unremitting bleakness as it is in reverb, there’s nothing here even remotely likely to be adopted as a sporting anthem.
Armed with the kind of virtually indecipherable Scottish accent that makes The Proclaimers sound like Hugh Grant, frontman James Allan now appears hell bent on challenging Morrissey as indie-rock’s biggest miserablist. Here’s a look at five of the record’s most obvious moments of despair.
Set during the pre-digital era when white noise rather than infomercials ruled the midnight airwaves, this opening My Bloody Valentine-esque title track signals the torment ahead. Placing himself in the shoes of a teenage con returning to his hometown, Allan’s voice audibly cracks as he wonders whether his friends have abandoned him on a sobering reflection on how life for young criminals can be just as isolating when they finally step outside the four walls of their correctional facility: [LISTEN]
Throwing an unexpected nod to Jessie J biggest hit, “All I Want Is My Baby” argues that actually, it is all about the ‘money, money, money’ with a raw and emotionally-charged account of an increasingly bitter custody battle. Desperate not to turn into the absentee father figure that featured on “Daddy’s Gone,” Allan becomes more and more vengeful with each shimmering guitar hook, resulting in a prayer for public humiliation on the ex who is currently holding all the cards: [LISTEN]
Echoing the sentiments of another British female pop twenty-something, Allan adopts Lily Allen’s ‘it’s not me, it’s you’ approach to finally put a relationship that has been in sinking ship territory for quite some time out of its misery. Later requesting a pill that will banish all of their shared memories for good, this typically intense Joy Division-esque slice of melancholy once again positions Allan as indie-rock’s most brutal and unashamedly ruthless dumper:
Saving the most hate-filled riposte for the album’s most delicate production, this fragile classical piano ballad sees Allan serve up the ultimate break-up insult by claiming he’d rather be sleeping with the fishes than sleeping by his ex-partner’s side. A sinister spoken word middle eight, which suggests the object of his venom would do well to follow his ‘look over your shoulder’ advice, further proves that Taylor Swift this isn’t: [LISTEN]
An achingly tender dream-pop ballad which like the album’s Black Lodge-inspired artwork, highlights the band’s love of Twin Peaks, “Neon Bedroom” adds a desperately lonely young girl to the band’s list of misfits. An open love letter to the fellow classmate she follows home from school but who doesn’t even know she exists, Allan perfectly encapsulates the sense of teenage infatuation most of the character’s peers reserve for 1D and Bieber: [LISTEN]