Album Review: W.L. // The Snuts

How does a band of construction workers from a wee town in Scotland get to number 1 in the UK charts with their debut album just one week after it was released? That’s the question many people were asking themselves as The Snuts took on global superstar Demi Lovato to land the top spot on Friday. When you listen to the ground-breaking debut W.L. it’s not difficult to see why. Lead singer Jack Cochrane is an undoubtedly Scottish vocal talent and it’s his passionate, melodic and gritty voice that are the stand out of the record.

We’re taken on a journey about growing up in small-town Scotland in the mid-2000s. It also takes us on a whistle-stop tour of the various genres of guitar music that the band has been influenced by. The album’s first track ‘Top Deck’ is a haunting acoustic number, before launching into ‘Always’ which starts off with an instantly recognisable bassline.

Fans of Arctic Monkeys will enjoy ‘Juan Belmonte’ and ‘All Your Friends’; there are clear influences of the Sheffield band in the drumming and the basslines. Both are of songs you can imagine nodding along to in the crowd of a festival with a flat pint in your hand.

There’s a complete tone change when it comes to lead single ‘Somebody Loves You’, which is poppy and uplifting. The band actually donated the budget for the filming of the video to the Scottish Refugee Council and instead filmed it on iPhones.

For me, the standout track of the album has to be ‘Glasgow’. Every time I listen to it, I picture myself in the Barrowland Ballroom—probably the city’s most iconic music venue—at the end of the night with the crowd going “tonto” and pints flying across the room. With three sell out shows in Glasgow’s most famous ballroom to look forward to in September (COVID-19 restrictions depending) it certainly seems that’s what the band intended for it.

The brilliant thing about The Snuts is that they’re a band with a social conscience. As well as raising cash for a refugee charity, they also encouraged fans to raise money to go to their ground crew who have been out of work for over a year due to the pandemic.

Cochrane has also been sending a daily letter to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, encouraging her to meet with the band to discuss the impact the ongoing restrictions are having on a sector that, at the end of the day, is incredibly important to the Scottish economy and culture.

Scotland has a rich tradition of live music. Its crowds are among some of the greatest in the world—and so are its bands. With this debut, The Snuts are on track to carve out their place alongside some of Scotland’s greats including Primal Scream, Lewis Capaldi and Biffy Clyro.

Words by Lauren Gilmour

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