Glasvegas, the Scottish band who, whatever else, should win the award for world’s best band name – from what genius mind could an amalgamation of glittering Las Vegas and industrial Scottish city Glasgow come? – have continued on their journey toward international recognition with their new album, EUPHORIC /// HEARTBREAK , and to mixed results.
Why mixed? Well, it’d be harsh to say that EUPHORIC /// HEARTBREAK doesn’t have its share of strong moments. The opening double punch of “Pain, Pain, Never Again” and “The World is Yours” is excellent. The former is a synth soundscape replete with quiet French spoken vocals, while the latter is fast, frantic, and a tunefully melancholic indie standard. Largely, though, its strong moments are so overproduced that any strengths become diluted and a tad trite.
Given the length of the album, that’s something of a problem. There’s nothing too bad here, but EUPHORIC /// HEARTBREAK suffers from Glasvegas’ choice to recourse to the style that worked on their debut rather than expanding their sound. While “Shine Like Stars”, “Whatever Hurts You Through The Night”, and “Dream Dream Dreaming” offer a slightly different dynamic, playing around with rhythm and tempo particularly, the album falls far too quickly into the predictable and mundane, with half-shouted vocal melodies, omnipresent synth parts, and crashing guitars.
That said, album closer “Change”, a quiet piano-led piece which experiments with spoken word is a poignant and welcome diversion which, if Glasvegas had looked to explore it more fully, could have furnished a much stronger and more wide-ranging sophomore effort. As it stands, this one slumps. Low.