Northern rock four-piece Glass Caves’ debut album, ‘Alive’, is a clear example of exactly how a debut should be done. After years of busking and finding their feet, the resulting album is thoughtful and impressive, without becoming too polished.
With lead single ‘Go’ being mastered by John Davis (the man behind Catfish and the Bottlemen and Royal Blood) the influences are immediately and undeniably obvious- though this is no bad thing. There is a laid-back confidence in the riff and heavy drums that assure you Glass Caves know exactly what they’re doing. ‘Go’ is well-crafted both lyrically and melodically, yet the fuzzy and distorting effects keep it from straying into ‘too-polished’ territory. ‘Driving home’ is decidedly more neat and clean-cut, lacking the intensity of ‘Go’- but being more understated and toned down makes it no less catchy. Another standout track comes in the form of ‘Why Stay’- the first few bars opening with falsetto vocals echoing Kasabian, simmering down into an infectiously catchy verse before growing into a well-mastered chorus.
The remainder of the album strays away from moody rock, exploring different thoughts and feelings; from the emotional grit of ‘Breaking Out’, to the sultry tones of ‘Let Go’ and the upbeat potential future single material of ‘This Road’. It is clear that Glass Caves didn’t want to be easily pigeon-holed, and although the influences are blindingly obvious, to compare them to existing artists simply wouldn’t do them justice.
However, any debut album undeniably has its flaws. ‘Alive’ is eleven tracks long- and perhaps should have been eight. The majority of tracks are strong and self-assured; however there are a few which are more filler than killer. Having said this, Glass Caves have pulled an incredibly confident debut out of the bag, and occasional weak track aside, it is definitely worth a listen.