Following a brief hiatus from touring and gigs it is delightful to hear from Vigo Thieves again. These Scottish likely lads have been consistently pumping out amazing gigs and spellbinding songs for a number of years now and their debut album Heartbeats lives up to the hype it anticipated.
From the moment that the solemn opening track Wide Awake ends and Steal Your Heart bursts into life, it is obvious that Vigo Thieves have produced an LP full of exhilarating upbeat rock worthy of filling stadiums. Steal Your Heart is reminiscent of Biffy Clyro and 30 Seconds to Mars, with heavier guitar and an anthemic array of synths – fantastic stuff. Heartbeats and Believe are perfect examples of the irresistible quality of this record, filled with charming sing-along crowd vocals and belting choruses. Believe was chosen as the anthem for the Scottish national football team for their UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, which comes as no surprise given the massive scope of the single.
This entire collection has clearly been born from a great deal of time and effort, with each piece being crafted and perfected over years of stage performances, where not a single chord feels out of place. Each offering blending effortlessly into the next, this album is more of a set-list for a live show than an array of songs, something that makes it a complete joy to listen to. The commanding drums of This Love are complemented perfectly by a delicate piano riff and the incessant pulsing of synths and guitars will have you screaming along.
Razorblade is one of my favourite songs, as it drops a fantastic saxophone solo out of absolutely nowhere, and feels more like an homage to Bruce Springsteen than anything else, betraying Vigo Thieves’ early influences. Ghosts is another fave – arguably the most electronically based on the album, the main riff is blasted out by imposing synths and supported by an addictive bassline – but as always Vigo Thieves deliver a total earworm of a chorus, complete with more karaoke opportunities and yet another brilliant saxophone solo. The final tune on the album offers a nice surprise, after a reprise of Steal Your Heart, a secret track begins: a stripped back performance of Razorblade, which is utterly beautiful.
Overall, Heartbeats is a must listen for fans of Doves, The Killers and The 1975 – but ultimately I think that this is a perfect follow on for fans of the Little Comets after their break-up. Full of lyrically and sonically gorgeous material, perfectly rounded off with impressive drumming and catchy choruses.
Words by Morton Piercewright