MIRACLE GLASS COMPANY-MGC 1.
MIRACLE GLASS COMPANY-MGC 1.
Scotland has always had a rich and vibrant musical scene. That’s been the case since the sixties, and is still the case today. A look at the albums released during 2016 proves this point. The year started with a new album from Emma Pollock. After that, the albums arrived thick and fast from familiar faces and old friends. This included Frightened Rabbit, King Creosote, Kris Drever, Mogwai, Mull Historical Society, R.M. Hubbert, Rick Redbeard and the Temperance Movement. Meanwhile, several bands hit the comeback trail.
This included The Pictish Trail, who returned with their first album in four years, Future Echoes. It was a welcome return to form. However, the comeback Kings of 2016 were the Trashcan Sinatras and Teenage Fanclub. These veterans of Scottish music returned with critically acclaimed albums. They weren’t the only veteran of Scottish music to make a return during 2016
Paul McGeechan returned with the debut album from his new project, Starless. Its lineup was like a who’s who of music. So, it was no surprise, when this eagerly awaited release won the approval of critics. This was just the latest release in what had been a very good year for Scottish music. However, it wasn’t familiar faces and old friends that had been releasing new albums. There was a new kid in town, Miracle Glass Company. They’ve recently released their debut album MG1 on VoxBox Records.
The Edinburgh based power rock trio have been around for several years. However, they first came to prominence in May 2016, when they released their single Higher Than High. Straight away, it was obvious that Miracle Glass Company were a cut above the competition. They were a much tighter and more accomplished band, who were capable of creating melodic psychedelic rock. That’s no surprise. The three members of Miracle Glass Company are all talented and experienced musicians.
Bassist and vocalist William Douglas previously, lead WD and the Wheel). His parter in the rhythm section, drummer and percussionist Andy Duncan, was previously a member of Miyagi and The Black Diamond Express. The third member of the Miracle Glass Company is Austen George. He plays guitar, piano and Hammond organ and previously, was a member of The Setup and The Alvas. Nowadays, he’s part of the heavy psychedelic groove machine that is Miracle Glass Company.
They’ve come a long way from their early days on Edinburgh’s live circuit. During 2016, Miracle Glass Company have toured Britain. This includes opening for The Bluetones during a mini tour in April. However, Miracle Glass Company’s biggest gig of 2016 was playing at Scotland’s premier festival T In The Park. That was proof that Miracle Glass Company were heading in the right direction.
Less than weeks after their appearance at T In The Park, Miracle Glass Company headed to Scotland’s musical city, Glasgow. They had been booked to play at King Tut’s, one of Scotland’s most prestigious venues. Some of the biggest indie bands have at one time, played King Tuts. On July 24th, Miracle Glass Company took to the same stage as Radiohead, The Killers, Pulp, My Chemical Romance, Biffy Clyro and Frightened Rabbit. Miracle Glass Company were now alumni of both T In The Park and King Tut’s. Surely, 2016 couldn’t get any better for Miracle Glass Company?
It did. Owen Morris agreed to co-produce Miracle Glass Company’s debut album. Thos was a real coup. Previously, Owen Morris had produced The Stranglers, Oasis, The Verve, Ash and The Fratellis. Now Owen Morris was about to work with Miracle Glass Company.
Owen Morris made the journey north to work with Miracle Glass Company. Just like many bands, they had already written the eleven songs that would become their debut album. They had honed these songs playing them live. Now it was a matter of recording these songs. This resulted in a journey from east to west.
Recording of Miracle Glass Company’s debut album was split between two studios. This included one of Scotland’s top studios, Cava Sound, in Glasgow. Owen Morris who has over 150 production credits to his name, would guide Miracle Glass Company through the minefield that’s recording a debut album. It can be fraught with countless difficulties, but Owen Morris was a veteran of many successful campaigns. He co-produced the sessions that took place at Cava Sound with Miracle Glass Company. Further sessions took place at Music Box in Edinburgh.Eventually, the eleven songs were completed. These songs became MG 1, Miracle Glass Company’s debut album.
With MG 1 complete, Miracle Glass Company began working towards the launch of their debut album. It was recently released and launched at the Liquid Rooms, in Edinburgh. MG 1 showcases the heavy psychedelic groove machine that is Miracle Glass Company.
Higher Than High opens opens MG 1, and finds Miracle Glass Company laying down their marker. A blistering guitar rings out, before the drums and then bass enter. The rhythm section set about creating a rocky backdrop. It’s soon joined by the vocal, as Miracle Glass Company kick loose. A searing guitar cuts through the arrangement searing and shivering. Soon, the vocal grows in power, as drums pound and guitars scream and soar. Tight harmonies are added, and veer between Byrdsian to punchy and powerful. They add to the lysergic sound. So does a powerhouse of a vocal. Reverb adds to the trippy sound. Meanwhile, thunderous, urgent drums, blistering guitars and harmonies play their part in a hard rocking slice of of and psychedelia. It whets the listener’s appetite for the rest of MG 1.
Especially, if the songs are as good as T.R.O.U.B.L.E. A hypnotic guitar sends out its siren call, before the rhythm section provide a blues rock backdrop. Having set the scene for the vocal, it sings call and response with the rest of Miracle Glass Company. Soon, a swaggering anthem is unfolding. Then at 1.38 the song briefly grinds to a halt. When it bursts back into life, the rhythm section lock into a groove as a scorching guitar solo. Soon, though, the vocal returns and sings call and response, on what’s an irresistible hard rocking anthem. It’s sure favourite of Miracle Glass Company’s live shows.
When How Long bursts into life, Miracle Glass Company play with a degree of urgency. It’s another slice of hard rocking music. Again, hooks haven’t been spared, as Miracle Glass Company play with speed and confidence. As the rhythm section provide the heartbeat, scorching guitar licks reverberate. Meanwhile, a strutting vocal, is accompanied by tight harmonies. Later, a blistering guitar solo is unleashed. It helps drive the arrangement along, before firing off machine gun licks. By then, Miracle Glass Company have become one, playing with confidence and an assuredness. The result is a track that’s not unlike the seventies classic rock that surely, must have influenced Miracle Glass Company.
There’s a drop in tempo on Look At You Now. Bristling, shimmering guitar licks are joined by the rhythm section and then a tender vocal. It hints at what’s to come. That’s a fusion of late-sixties psychedelia at its most melodic, Big Star and their rightful heirs Teenage Fanclub. This proves a potent and heady brew. Especially as Miracle Glass Company’s rhythm section combine with shimmering, glistening guitars. Meanwhile, a tender, thoughtful vocal delivers some of the best lyrics on the album. Adding the final piece in the jigsaw are Byrdisan harmonies. They play their part in what’s without doubt, Miracle Glass Company at their finest and most melodic.
Big Beat is totally different from anything that’s gone before. A lived-in vocal and guitar are joined by the rhythm section. Soon, Miracle Glass Company are fusing rock with pop and even a hint of reggae. The reggae influence comes courtesy of the rhythm section. Meanwhile, the lead vocal is reminiscent of Kelly Jones from The Sterophonics. It’s accompanied by harmonies. This adds a poppy sound. Later, there’s also a nod to The Beatles on this genre-melting track. It’s a potpourri of influences and inspirations, that will appeal to a very different audience than previous tracks. That’s no bad thing, as if it introduces Miracle Glass Company’s music to a wider audience.
After showcasing their versatility on the last couple of tracks, Miss Rain finds Miracle Glass Company return to psychedelic rock. A searing guitars reverberates as the rhythm section provide an ominous backdrop. Soon, Miracle Glass Company seem to be paying homage to The Byrds. Sonically and stylistically there are several similarities. Especially the guitars, vocal, harmonies and use of effects. Miracle Glass Company then take a rocky diversion as bristling guitars cut loose. When the vocal returns, there’s a nod to Big Star, as the song heads into an anthem territory. Later though, it becomes a jam, with Miracle Glass Company showcasing their considerable skills and versatility.
Miracle Glass Company throw a curve ball on Part Of Me. Briefly, they sing unaccompanied, before the song explodes. The rhythm section lock into a groove, and with the searing, screaming guitars drive the arrangement. There’s a similar urgency to the vocal. However, when the vocal drops out, the band kick loose. They rock harder than they’ve ever rocked before. Never once do the miss a beat, as they play like seasoned veterans. Later, when the vocal returns the arrangement is stripped back and the song latterly, becomes a melodic power ballad.
As Little Country Thing unfolds, harmonies are accompanied by just an acoustic guitar. The result is country ballad that sounds like it was recorded in Nashville. Soon, it’s all change. A rumbling bass and percussion join with a jangling, shimmering guitar. Miracle Glass Company combine elements of country, the West Coast sound and rock. There’s even the merest hint of Santana courtesy of the percussion. Meanwhile, tight, soulful harmonies play an important part in the sound and success of this ballad. It’s without doubt another of the highlight of MG 1, with Miracle Glass Company becoming musical shape shifters as they seamlessly switch between musical genres.
Searing guitars licks are joined by drums on Calling. The drums drift in and out, before driving the arrangement along. By then, a soul-baring powerhouse of a vocal is joined by tight harmonies. Midway through the track, harmonies intertwine and drums rumble, adding to the urgency. Not for the first time there’s a similarity to The Who. Later, Miracle Glass Company at their rockiest, kick loose as the song reaches its impressive crescendo.
Drums pound as guitars cut through the arrangement to Turnaround. As the vocal enters, it’s accompanied by harmonies as the arrangement flows along showcasing a vintage sound. Elements of power pop, psychedelia and classic rock are combined seamlessly. Stealing the show is guitarist Austen George. He unleashes what’s easily the best solo on the album. Effects are to the fore on what can only be described as a virtuoso performance. It’s defines a track that’s rocky, psychedelic, memorable and melodic. What better way to close MG 1?
It’s hard to believe that MG 1 is Miracle Glass Company’s debut album. It’s a slick, polished and accomplished album. That’s no surprise, as veteran producer Owen Morris co-produced MG 1 with Miracle Glass Company. The result is an album that’s a cut above the competition.
MG 1 features a tight, talented and versatile band. Over eleven tracks, Miracle Glass Company seamlessly switch between rocky anthems and ballads. Similarly, Miracle Glass Company flit effortlessly between disparate musical genres throughout MG 1. Sometimes, they combine several genres within the same track. This results in hard and psychedelia sitting side by side. Similarly, Miracle Glass Company combine country and rock. Other times, elements of Americana, blues rock, power pop, reggae and the West Coast sound are combined on MG 1. So are a myriad of musical influences.
Throughout MG 1, numerous musical influences can be heard. Among them, are The Doors, Big Star, The Beatles and The Who. That’s not forgetting fellow countrymen, Teenage Fanclub. All these musical influences and disparate genres have been combined by Edinburgh based Miracle Glass Company. The result is their debut album MG1, which was recently released on VoxBox Records.
MG 1 showcases a truly talented and versatile band, who are rising stars of Scottish music. Their star is in the ascendancy, and 2017 promises to be a big year for them. MG 1 is just the first step in what’s a long journey and perilous. However, Miracle Glass Company have the potential and talent. Proof of that is MG 1, which features a tantalising taste of the new kid in town, Miracle Glass Company.
MIRACLE GLASS COMPANY-MGC 1