November 18, 2018

The Comsat Angels - The Glamour (1995)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Grunge, Pop Rock
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© 1995 RPM/Thunderbird Records
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
My Mind's Eye was an undeniable artistic triumph for the Comsat Angels, so it was impressive for them to return a couple years later with a just-as-intense follow-up that offered a slight change of pace. Not many bands continue to grow well over a decade into their career; 1995's The Glamour is proof of a band doing such a rare thing. The loss of bassist Kevin Bacon was the first change in the band's lineup since forming. Replacement Terry Todd and additional guitarist Simon Anderson bring a heavy rockist edge to their elders, most exemplary on the title track. Like approximately half of the record, the song features thick, near-grunge riffing. What separates the record from the vast number of angst-ridden grunge bands is the ever-present atmospherics and noise mongering from keyboardist Andy Peake, along with Stephen Fellows' detached cool, both of which are placed perfectly in the mix. No deep-throat yowling and over-emoting here. It might be a less personal record than My Mind's Eye, but it sounds like a band having a blast, something the band's earlier works never really demonstrated. (Don't miss Fellows' incidental "rock" grunting, an odd development that seems humorous when considering his usual emotional turmoil.) With 13 songs that combine for over an hour's length, there's obviously some stretching out here that the band previously avoided. Prior to The Glamour, the Comsats tended to keep things to four minutes or less, but a couple songs here weigh in between six and eight minutes. Some songs might have been better left to the cutting room floor, but two-thirds of the record is extremely strong. Beginning marvelously and ending well in their career, their fifth best record would end up being their last.

tags: the cosmat angels, the glamour, 1995, flac,

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