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The Gracious Losers

Six Road Ends (Last Night From Glasgow)

By • Mar 26th, 2021 • Category: Album review

This new album comes with some anticipation given The Gracious Losers’ previous releases and live shows – and it does not disappoint. Released on the mighty Last Night From Glasgow imprint, it is a real validation and a triumph of plain good songwriting over any current or past trends…

BM isn’t going to attempt to list who appears on what track, but TGL are as follows: Jonathan Liley, Gary Johnston, Rory McGregor, Johnny Smillie, Erik Igelstrom, Heather Philips, Amanda McKeown, Monica Queen and Celia Garcia.

A supremely confident release, it sees the Glasgow-based collective play to their strengths. After a couple of low key intro tracks, the first “wow” moment is ‘The Big Land’ which channels influences such as The Band into a massive anthemic beast of a song… A real heart-stopper, it showcases the deft harmonies, plangent guitar playing and a real ear for a melody into something special. It blasts into the eardrums with power but tenderness and for BM’s money is their best achievement yet.

But wait, there is more – the previous single ‘Loath To Leave’ (as previously reviewed) is a slow-burning and classy number which recalls Chris Isaak among other things…

It is followed by the instrumental ‘The Accomplice’ which stretches TGL’s musical palette to piano-led blues, with some squealy guitar over the top – sublime, it sounds like a Barry Adamson-influenced imaginary soundtrack to an unreleased B-movie. The track morphs into a lengthy set of variations which includes other instruments and is just… lovely, in fact is there some ‘Trespass’-era Genesis influence here, good God it sounds like it (flute and harmonies, you have been busted, guys – TGL go prog!)

Next up, in a complete change of direction, we have electronic percussion for ‘Everything Begins, Everything Ends’ which if anything recalls Pink Floyd in the vocals and chord changes, maybe? The male and female vocals and strong strings become jazzy and all BM can say is that this lot skip genres every few bars, and are truly following their own musical direction.

‘The Fire At The Bottom of The Sea’ is again heavily on the instrumentation (including brass) but is playful and slightly Motown-influenced – a very summery sound.

Meanwhile, ‘You’ve Got The Reach On Me’ is soulful, with female backing vocals, and sounds a bit Stones-influenced, it has a great series of hooks… with boxing allusions…

The last couple of tracks include the country-influenced ‘Come When You’re Ready’ and the acoustic ‘The Lead And The Light’, which deals with a few regrets…

Closing track ‘When I’m Feeling Better Than I’m Feeling Now’ provides a suitable coda to the album, slow and a bit spaced out.

This is a truly great record – classy, timeless but fresh and vital – it isn’t a surprise that TGL could make this, let’s just be glad they did.

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