Miracle Glass Company – MGC1 (2 stars)

Miracle Glass Company: MGC1

A disappointing debut from MGC

Why do people buy cruising yachts? There are plenty of other large objects that lose value when they're in the sea, but sailing boats, the kind with mizzen masts and aft decks, rather than the gleaming white Bond-villain type, remain in vogue with the marina scene because they're considered timeless.

Edinburgh's VoxBox Records, an independent record shop with a fledgling label attached, has just embarked on what they call their most ambitious release yet: a deluxe blue vinyl pressing of MGC1, the debut album of hook 'n' harmony revivalists Miracle Glass Company.

Recorded in just four days, the musicianship of Miracle Glass Company is undoubtedly of a high quality. By switching around lead vocal duties, as well as exploiting close three-part harmonies on almost every track, there's a pleasing equality between the trio.

If the sound they were aiming for was timeless, the sort of thing that conjures up memories of Merseyside in the 60s and the Lennon/McCartney partnership at the peak of their powers, then they've achieved their goal. The question is, however, whether there's any point in listening to another record that dutifully doffs its cap to Abbey Road and Revolver.

There are some nice moments – lead single 'T-R-O-U-B-L-E' is catchy enough – but in keeping resolutely to a course plotted through the inspirations and icons of 20th century rock, Miracle Glass Company miss their opportunity to bring something new to the table. Producer Owen Morris, previously associated with The Verve and Definitely Maybe-era Oasis, has helped to give MGC1 a bit of polish and sheen, but makes the same mistakes that the Gallaghers and Richard Ashcroft still make today, in only daring to imitate their influences.

Here's the thing about sailing yachts: as satisfying as that classic look is, they're really slow and they don't have Wi-Fi. Similarly, MGC1 is a record for those disinterested in going anywhere new anytime soon.

MGC1 is out via VoxBox Records on Fri 14 Oct.

Miracle Glass Company

Austen George (The Set Up), William Douglas (William Douglas & the Wheel), and Andy Duncan (Miyagi, The Black Diamond Express) perform psychedelic rock as Miracle Glass Company.


1. Catherine O'Shea4 Oct 2016, 6:52pm Report

Cruising yachts?? Sailing yachts? Think you might be writing articles for the wrong magazine love! MGC are one of the best bands to come out of Edinburgh in a long time.


2. Gus Carruthers8 Oct 2016, 6:40pm Report

I am also slightly confused about the yacht analogy - however comparing them to Lennon/McCartney at the peak of their powers and citing comparisons to Abbey Road and Revolver seems like a pretty positive thing to me. Why does new = good anyway? I would argue that contrary to your opinion about MGC not sounding new, they are one of the most interesting/innovative bands to come out of Edinburgh for a very long time. Compared to the wave of mediocre indy bands that seem to plague the Edinburgh music scene, MGC are a very welcome burst of energy, talent and brilliant songs. Plus their live show is insanely good. In summary i'd go for the sailing yacht every time, screw the wifi.

3. Kevin Tierney9 Oct 2016, 5:17pm Report

Just read this review, it is really bad... Even if you don't like the band, that's fair enough...not everyone will like every type of music...but dear me your reviewing skills are pretty awful! What's the boat chat all about??? It's really confusing , how did you get a job doing this???😂😂😂

4. Jacky Sand9 Oct 2016, 5:22pm Report

Doesn't take a critic to appreciate the Miracle Glass Company debut which is not only incredibly melodic, original and one of the most accomplished well produced albums for a very long time.

Do us a favour List and stick to writing about your next 'art school' band of the hour cause that will be an inflatable dingy compared to this luxury cruise. Muppets.

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6. jon demon9 Oct 2016, 9:57pm Report

You can see right through this review, the sailing yaught analogy is hypocritical and flimsy, who the hell wants wi-if when you can bask in the ocean, enjoying great composition. We still listen to 'revolver' and 'abbey road' for a reason. Dumb, uneducated writing from The List as usual. You should stick to advertising events.

7. Danny Placido9 Oct 2016, 10:48pm Report

Full disclosure – I love this band so naturally I was disappointed to see such a low score. However upon reading the review my disappointment soon turned to relief. I can’t think of a better way to show how little we have in common than to open with a sailing yacht analogy to describe this band. All I learned from the first paragraph is something traumatic happened to you on a sailing yacht at some point.

Moving on, it’s clear you don’t know the meaning of the word timeless.

adjective: timeless 1. not affected by the passage of time or changes in fashion. You call the album timeless when you actually meant the opposite, of-a-time, specifically mid to late 60s Beatles.

Finally, we get to the reason I was compelled to comment. You end the review by insulting anyone who likes this band – your argument being that it doesn’t matter how good the band are, if they aren’t doing anything new then they aren’t worth listening to and anyone that does has no interest in new music. At first I just assumed you were a snob and only care about new sounds. I could actually respect that to a degree, but then I had a look at your other reviews and came across this gem from your 4 star review of Field Music’s album Commonplace:

“Trouble at the Lights’ contains a proper guitar breakdown reminiscent of Wings-era McCartney, ‘But Not For You’ sounds like post-glam Bowie and album opener ’ has all the funk and irony you'd expect from Talking Heads. Plundering the hits of the past whilst avoiding mere pastiche takes guts.”

Where is the consistency in your reviews? One minute you’re breaking down an album track by track listing off which past masters they emulate while gushing about how much you love it, next you write off a band for capturing the timeless qualities of the Beatles and claim if it’s not new it’s not worth listening to. Which is it exactly?

8. Ewan Gibson10 Oct 2016, 1:05am Report

I really like Dannys review of the review. An excellent read with more substance than the original review.

9. Andy Thomson10 Oct 2016, 11:42am Report

As a fan of this band, I will confess to bias but this review is frankly shoddy and unprofessional. I have been listening to music for 55 years and I have rarely been more impressed with any band's debut material.

So what if their music is influenced by others? That doesn't make it bad or not worth listening to. There are no two songs on this album that sound alike, which demonstrates and exceptional songwriting ability and their musicianship is outstanding.

What a shame it would be if people who aren't familiar with the band were to be put of checking out the album or going to see them live on the basis of this drivel. Nothing new? Show me anything new in the world of popular music. New doesn't mean good - quality shines through in this band.

10. Fedbelly10 Oct 2016, 9:58pm Report

What he wrote of the album is at odds with the review's 2 star conclusion. It was actually a nasty thing to do. I've heard the album and seen them live and think they are the best guitar band in the UK just now. I suppose some people just don't like guitar bands and have a chip on their shoulder.

The silver lining is that I think the band can lift a nice quote:

"Timeless, the sort of thing that conjures up memories of Merseyside in the 60s and the Lennon/McCartney partnership at the peak of their powers".

11. Danny Mac14 Oct 2016, 12:23pm Report

A disappointing review from Sam Bradley.

What utter drivel! The reviewer's reasons for such a shambolic review are completely lost on me! Between the 2 star rating and quotes like "If the sound they were aiming for was timeless, the sort of thing that conjures up memories of Merseyside in the 60s and the Lennon/McCartney partnership at the peak of their powers, then they've achieved their goal." i can only assume that the reviewer was sniffing glue when writing this one!

To derive that this album merely draws from the bands various influences is nothing more than shoddy reviewing. Music evolves and changes just like all of us do and like evolution, some things are carried over to the next generation, some things are new and some are lost altogether. So to draw such comparisons and then view them in such a negative light is simply baffling to me.

This album in my opinion is a triumphant display of songwriting and musicianship. Engaging and melodic, it effortlessly moves and changes from track to track blending psych, and beautiful harmonies with some very catchy hooks.

Don't listen to the review folks. Listen to the album!

12. Jay Miles22 Oct 2016, 7:36pm Report

The first album in a long time that I have listened to all the way through. Possibly the most exciting thing to come out Edinburgh if not Scotland since god knows what. Pretty poor review. Can't think of anything else happening that isn't twangy twee nonsense that just wants to be the likes of Mumford and sons. Better to draw influence from further back than to be like every other contemporary band that just floods the market with more gash.

13. Jay Miles22 Oct 2016, 10:54pm Report

If the reviewer can only reference the Beatles, the verve and oasis then perhaps his musical knowledge is limited. There is so much more in there. Crosby stills and Nash, The easybeats and a whole host of west coast sounds. Just lazy writing.

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