I would like to take a moment to introduce you to four gentlemen from Glasgow. They are a vocalist and guitar player called Joe Scott, a guitarist by the name of Gary Salmon, Frank Casey who plays bass and finally John Thomson who plays drums. However you may know them better as Beltur.
These guys like quite a few bands before them found their way onto my radar via Alistair Hipkin of Sound & Vision Music Promotions and for those of you that don’t know as a band that is a nice little co-sign to get. Anyway the bottom line is that last month they released a new 3 track EP into the world and well I thought I should give it The Musical Outcast treatment.
The record kicks off with the slow building ‘Back Of My Hand.’ The acoustic opening soon gives way to some electric guitar based goodness as the track builds towards a chorus which is just made for singing along to. It’s at this point that I really must highlight the vocal because to my English/Black Country ear it is one of the most ‘Scottish’ vocals I have ever heard in my life. And that makes it brilliant. Now that isn’t because I have a fetish for Scottish or Glaswegian accents, (I am partial to a Scottish accent on a woman though, I must confess) it’s brilliant because it’s real. I have heard so many singers scrub off their natural accent and all they manage to do is sound like everyone else. But the vocal here from Scott is natural, and as a result it comes across as incredibly sincere, and sounds a hell of a lot better. So Joe Scott I applaud you.
Next up is my favourite track ‘One Hundred Years From Now.’ I have had this tune on repeat since I first heard it and I am yet to get bored. There is absolutely nothing not to like. It’s rockier than the opener and features some nifty guitar work all the way through but the riff for the intro just slides you into the track perfectly. Again the song-writing is top drawer and I’m still randomly singing the chorus out loud. These guys seem to have a knack for writing brilliant hooks, and what a knack to have! This will earn them a lot of admirers in the long run. There is a beautifully old school feel to the track from the melodies, to the lyrics, to the guitar solo; it’s just a great track.
The ballad-like tones of ‘When I Was Blind’ are up next and bring the record to a close. All I can do is echo what I have already written, it’s simply another high quality track. The main melody glides the track along while the endearing vocal from Scott does the business over the top. There’s time for another good chorus and another good little solo but frankly by now I have to come to expect nothing less.
In simple terms Here’s To The Days is a brilliant little record. The production is clean, crisp and totally spot on. Sonically, it really is a beautiful listen. As a piece of work I really can’t fault it apart from one little thing. Next time give us more than 3 tracks boys! I would recommend this EP to anyone such is its accessibility, what a pleasure it was to review. Keep up the good work lads.