This year’s most depressing Christmas offering? Pah, John Fratelli, you don’t have a snowflake’s chance in hell with James Allen and his black clad pals around. You ain’t even produced the most depressing single by a Scottish band this year.
Yes, that’s right. Leading the charge away from mince pies and mulled wine to a half-frozen bottle of cider in Glasgow Necropolis are Jim and the gang, with a mini-album packed to the rafters with such wonderfully festive fair as Fuck You It’s Over and Please Come Back (you can just see the ‘it’s NAE aboot ma father!’ protestations starting now, can’t you? Get over it, man! Good U2 impression there, mind). All you need to decide is which of the songs on offer here is the most miserable of the lot.
Is it the fragile and all-too-short fairytale soundtrack opening of Careful What You Wish For? Or is it Cruel Moon, a Suede-esque piano ballad of epic proportions? Could it be the wonderfully mournful title song and half-arsed bid for the Christmas number one, or even the sublime cover of favourite carol Silent Night? In fact, any one of the six tracks on this indie-stocking-filler-to-die-for could wipe the floor with whatever the opposition wants to throw at it.
The heavy-as-death organs, the depth charge vocal deliveries, the haunting winds blowing through the rafters that heralds in a ghostly choir, this is music so measured, so painful, after just one listen you’ll wonder where it’s been all your life.
Glasvegas have been one of the highlights of 2008. Barely two months after their stunning debut album, the fact that they have chosen to grace us with these six additional tracks is a blessing we simply don’t deserve. From the Joy Division drums and bass line of Fuck You It’s Over to the heavenly choirs that populate their sonic cathedral, Glasvegas have managed to top their own previous efforts before we’ve even had the chance to get used to them properly.
A Snowflake Fell… might make you want to hang yourself with the tinsel, but what a way to go. Please don’t let them to beaten to the number one spot by The Salvation Army Band.