I’d Rather Die (Than Have a Job in a Tie) – The Unexpected Revolution Inspiring Anthem by Glasgows The Vanities

By Megan Hughes

Glasgow is home and birth place to garage punk band The Vanities.  If The Beachboys and The Vaccines had a garage punk baby it would be this band.  Although, their new single I’d Rather Die (Than Have a Job in a Tie) is a far cry from any classic beach boy hit with its gritty guitar pieces and grungy drums a likeness remains.  The tempo, harmonies and general composition of the song is filled with similarities that leave you feeling like this is a familiar song that you just can’t put your finger on.  The likeness you will undoubtedly hear could, also, be compared to the cover of Irma Thomas’ Time Is On My Side by The Rolling Stones. 

The track starts strong and bold, full of volume with all systems go.  This level of energy is maintained through the majority of the song.  It feels perfect for a remake of Grease if it were punk.  The tempo is fast and the song is catchy, making it easy to glaze over the depth of the lyrics.

In terms of lyrics this song is full of angry at the world angst which is understandable given the chaos which we all find ourselves living in.  Front man Alan Hannah previously explained that the song had been written during ‘a rough time of unemployment and being on the brew’.  Hannah’s inspiration is fitting for the song name and the idea of: is it really worth losing yourself to become an overworked and underappreciated slave to the system, especially, whilst doing something you have zero to little interest in or passion for?

The four man band touch on feelings of disillusionment which any young adults inevitably experience when figuring out the ‘sadly much grimmer than we realised as children world’ and  what type of life they want to lead. 

 A line repeated a few times in the song is, ‘is the grass always greener on the otherside’. A comment which feeds into the idea of sticking to your guts and keeping with what you want.  You can, always, convince yourself that you are better off doing something else but sometimes you’ve just got to stick to what makes you happy and the rest will follow.

The harmonies in the chorus, octave changes and sliding up and down of scales is distinctly 50’s-esque.  This style is hit on more when the song breaks down to a slower tempo with the guys performing as if they were playing a slow dance for Marty McFly’s parents. Could this be a nod to the Back to The Future trilogy given their up and coming EP’s title of Your Kids Are Gonna Love It – a notable line from the trilogy.

Overall this new single is definitely one to give a listen.  It’s catchy and memorable but, also, pretty meaningful if you really listen to it. 

This single is just a taste of the yet to be released new EP Your Kids Are Gonna Love It.  Hopefully something you can listen to in the not so distant future. 

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