A Strong, and Long Debut from Scotland’s Best Recent Export
[First of all, all-time great photoshop job on that photo from The Snuts Facebook page. Too good not to use here].
Since The Snuts first starting releasing tracks, like all their fans, I’ve been long awaiting a full album. Last year they brought us a few more singles and even an EP, but for 2021 they’ve compiled a deluxe, 17-track debut full length album entitled W.L.
Overall, this is an excellent debut. Where it may lack in some respects are the new tracks that weren’t previously released as singles or on an EP, and the sheer length of the album makes it a little difficult for a new listener to make it all the way through (nearly an hour long). But those are probably unfair criticisms for a debut album which usually experience these perceived shortcomings. But there really is no filler here, all quality tracks, and standouts like “Always,” “Glasgow,” and “Elephants” should all do their job to bring even more exposure to this band from the namesake Scottish city.
#1 – “Top Deck”
This is an unexpected first track for the Snuts. It sounds a lot more like a love ballad from Adele, with a quiet acoustic and strings background, rather than the more raucous and loud stylings we’ve come to expect from the Snuts so far. It’s pretty solid though.
#2 – “Always”
Now we’re talking, this is The Snuts that I expect. A favorite single of theirs this song just oozes that attitude that works so well for this band. It builds, has a great hook and chorus, and the signature fuzz and punkish style well pulled off in several other tracks on this album.
#3 – “Juan Belmonte”
Another song that’s truly just badass. This is another song you’d expect to be on their debut album; it’s certainly one of their earlier releases that gained them a lot of rightful attention.
#4 – “All Your Friends”
There’s something familiar about this song. It’s got a little of that hip-hop influence going on, but I swear this sounds a lot like some other song that I can’t place. It might be an Arctic Monkeys song or amalgamation of their songs that it reminds me of. Comment below if you have an idea. Love the tune though.
#5 – “Somebody Loves You”
Definitely their poppiest song on the record. You could almost hear Lily Allen singing this song, or maybe it should have been written by Ed Sheeran or Daniel Powter. Really good indie pop song, great summer song too.
#6 – “Glasgow”
The “Glasgow” single is one of my favorite songs from The Snuts so I’m glad they included a rendition on the LP. Unexpectedly this version is actually produced with a little more of a fuzzy edge, sounding less produced than the demo single version. But it’s still an excellent song and this version has a great energy that makes you feel this is more like the concert type of version of the demo version originally released.
#7 – No Place I’d Rather Go”
This is an acoustic guitar ballad if I’ve ever heard one. Really reminded in this song of how good of a leader singer this guy is.
#8 – “Boardwalk”
If you can accuse a 17-track LP of having some filler, this is probably the first song where you can make an argument, probably doesn’t belong. It’s really not a bad song though, there’s just some potential for the album to start to drag here knowing we’re only halfway through.
#9 – “Maybe California”
If “Boardwalk” slows things down unnecessarily, this song is the savior. No mid-album lull, this song is definitely a banger. Another great summer song, love it.
#10 – “Don’t Forget It (Punk)”
Back to the fuzzy neo-punk, hip-hop sound here. Love the guitars and shout-singing over top, good driving rhythm. Kind of like Dandy Warhol vibes.
#11 – “Coffee & Cigarettes”
This is another really strong song off the album that we haven’t heard a release of before. Another high-energy, very catchy track, it was featured on FIFA 21 video game soundtrack.
#12 – “Elephants”
Probably my personal favorite song by The Snuts. Pure attitude, badass song. Hip-hop influenced, hook-filled guitar track with great singing and excellent and catchy lyrics. Really strong track to have at 12 of 17.
#13 – “Sing for You Supper”
Things slow down just a bit again here, but somewhat needed after the recent run of songs in the listing. Another new song we haven’t heard before, this one strips back more of the music and production to hear more of the songwriting and execution of the lyrics. Slow and sad initially it does build and I can see this being a really good live song.
#14 – “Blur Beat”
Ok I like this one too. Again, a little more subdued, a little sadder and acoustic guitar, but built around the lyrics and singing.
#15 – “4 Baillie Street”
This is where I’ll get slightly critical on the composition of the album. It’s hard to make a 17-track, 1 hour long album these days and have people with enough of an attention span to stick with it and listen to all the tracks over and over again to get that playback traction. If the last 4-5 tracks start to slow down too much for my expectations of The Snuts, it might get questionable if I will listen to the entire finish. Nothing wrong with this song or the end to the album, still really excellent stuff, not filler. Just question if it makes more sense to split this into 2 albums or a full length and mini-album/EP. That being said, I’m not a music producer for a reason.
#16 – “Microwave”
This one is a little more interesting musically than the last couple tracks. Still the more slower ballad-type of sad song. Again, really good song that we haven’t heard before.
#17 – “Waterbirds”
Final track to wrap things up. Acoustic man and his guitar type of song. Sort of a reprise of the intro “Top Deck” it’s a nice, relatively mellow tie up to a great album. Actually very excellent singing on this track too.
“Elephants” – Really hard to choose between all these songs. I just love this song a lot.
“Glasgow” – Really enjoy this version too.
“A separation from your digital trending, Don’t try to type a phrase that you could offend me, Don’t try to congregate with all of your friends when, None of these problems ever start to descend me” – From “Don’t Forget It (Punk)”