Chris Devotion & The Expectations "Amalgamation And Capital"
A quickfire sprint through Woody Guthrie’s ‘Ain’t Got No Home’ and the occasional nod to classic 50's balladry (albeit via Richard Hawley) are the only concessions these Glaswegians make to Americana on this, their debut. But that’s not to say its review here is unwarranted: those with a fondness for guitar crunch and an affinity with the middle-finger solution to dimestore heartbreak will have their buttons pushed readily time and again on this superb album.
Suckerpunched by the crooning opening to ‘A Modest Refusal’, tracks one to four fly by in short order, referencing the finest bamalama punk-pop from The Ramones (80s vintage) to The Undertones and Buzzcocks, while ‘Blister’ and ‘Our Mistake’ suggest The Replacements, Dinosaur Jr and Buffalo Tom at their most lovelorn and melodic.
‘Eyes Open Now’ provides the briefest of acoustic interludes, quickly followed by the standout bubblegum singalong ‘The Girl Is Leaving’, one of many tracks here marking young Mr Devotion out as a frighteningly good new kitchen-sink songwriting talent. A brilliant debut.