short players (Scottish) Single review

Le Reno Amps

Lifted from the forthcoming album ’Tear It Open’ this release from Glasgow based quartet Le Reno Amps is everything a self respecting single should be: inventive, fun, loud, riff-laden, stomping, haunting and just plain excellent!

Opening with the sound of guitar, bass and drums combining to create the image of cowboys on horseback galloping over the Western Plain, ‘Outlaws’ develops into a frantic and neurotic tale of trying to win over the favour of the singer’s girlfriend’s parents.

For years and years, the West of Scotland has for some reason held an almost unhealthy obsession with Country & Western music – a bit of a generalisation I know, but it is very popular! And the song being sung in a broad Scottish accent certainly serves to perpetuate the affinity. In fact, the listener could quite easily replace the Western Plains with The Gorbals.

The song passes through several ‘phases’ with little hushed lulls and a false ending, but remains upbeat and manic. In fact, think of a rockabilly version of the theme from a generic spaghetti western – though being West of Scotland, that’s more likely to be a Pie and Chips Western – and you’re almost there. To be honest though, this is such an inventive combination, mere words do it no justice.

Refreshingly, Le Reno Amps have included two tracks that do not appear on the new album as the ‘B side.’ ‘Trial and Correction’ is a melodic and bouncy indie-guitar track with a hooky chorus. Upbeat and fresh it takes the harmony and expression of some of the American pop-punk bands from about six or seven years back. A bit Weezer-like maybe? Throw in some Fenix TX tones perhaps? It’s good stuff however you perceive it.

‘Beach Hut’ is a down-paced acoustic track with deep, resonating vocals like a gruff Leonard Cohen. This simple and pleasant track on some listens sounds like a Country song and other times like Scottish folk, yet it sticks around for only a little over a minute. Clever!