The Golden Age of Glitter
Tee Pee Records
When you open a record with a song like Wish You Could Stay (A Little Longer) as is the case here – featuring a trademark scab-torn J Mascis guitar solo and those instantly-recognisable dulcet tones of Mark Lanegan the rest of the album has a lot to live up to. And that’s ultimately the problem with the second Sweet Apple full-lengther. Lovely, throwback power-pop for the most part and the cameos continue too, Robert Pollard is on the second track, J returns to slash and tear at both his guitar and his drums but these walk-ins diminish the power of the record as a whole because when these – huge – voices are not there the rest of the rest of the material starts to feel like either Weezer in filler mode or The Minus 5 coasting.
Actually, that’s what I thought of the most with this album, The Minus 5. Another great band with great ideas that are self-sabotaged by stacking the deck with too many walk-ons at various points across an album. It all just serves to undermine the tunefulness that is there. It ends up being like a scenery-chewing actor dominating a film and then the second act fails to follow on from an explosive opening.
That’s the great shame of The Golden Age of Glitter – a few really good songs and then some plodders – a set of B-team offcuts that should have been left on the bench or at least dressed up with A-player adornments/endorsements. In no way is this a bad record but it just drifts off the focus feels lost. The first few songs are sharp wee pop gems though and nice to hear Mascis in a new context.