After Glasgow's maddening no-show at Wednesday's Tyvek gig it was a relief to walk into Nice'n'Sleazy to find that a decent crowd had assembled for the visit of San Franciscans The Mantles and Nodzzz*. Up first (for me, there were two other groups that I missed, oops!) were The Mantles whose sound on vinyl I've described as 'tough jangle'; not quite pounding enough to be called garage-rock but a little too chunky for the jangly pop tag. Live, however, they were definitely the epitome of glistening, pristine guitar pop. In what is almost a radical move in these overloaded days, the guitars were turned down a notch and the vocals pushed up a little. It really worked, too. Songs like "Lily Never Married", new single "Raspberry Thighs" and the head-spinningly beautiful "Don't Lie" were able to breathe unencumbered by the need to be blisteringly loud. I've seldom heard prettier guitars. What a group! Nodzzz acquitted themselves well, too; drainpipe tight and again with clean guitars. They complained of being continually labelled as 'scuzz or fuzz rockers' which is understandable when their guitars are so crisp and undistorted. A good party band, they had folks bobbing to "In The City" and especially "I Don't Wanna Smoke Marijuana". At times they put me in mind of XTC (surprisingly) or a less jittery Violent Femmes (less surprisingly). A great night got even better when it was pointed out that the merchandising table had both the aforementioned new Mantles single and Ducl-i-tone's welcome reissue of notorious Dundonian D.I.Y.ers The Scrotum Poles' ridiculously rare "Revelation" single. Now, that's a Saturday night!
* This is despite the fact that The Babies, who most likely appeal to exactly the same audience, were playing across town. Some brave folks attempted to see both shows. I'm glad I didn't, though, as they ended up missing The Mantles. It's just a shame that they couldn't all appear on the same bill.