Normally, a lead singer’s hard-core drug addiction and the loss of a drummer would be enough to end a band’s musical aspirations, but not in the case of Glasvegas. The Scottish rockers have pushed through and forged a successful sophomore record.
On “Euphoric /// Heartbreak \,” the band lets go of its past with uplifting melodies. It continues to ride the success of its self-titled debut that featured “It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry,” a song that gained praise from U2’s Bono as one of the greatest songs he’d ever heard. Glasvegas sampled heavily on the group’s first album, drawing inspiration from lullabies and even Beethoven, but this album showcases pure lyricism.
One thing remaining consistent is the sonic structure of the tracks that make them distinctively Glasvegas-y: prominent drums, crashing cymbals, sustained guitars and synthesizer gloss. While lead singer James Allan’s Scottish brogue can be incomprehensible sometimes, he leaves little doubt his words are of dire importance.
The band goes political in the songs “I Feel Wrong” and “Stronger Than Dirt,” complementary tracks expressing difficulties of growing up gay. Even for a straight guy, Allan’s lyrics cut deep.
As with most Glasvegas songs, it’s the seamless transitions that are the best part. “I Feel Wrong” carries the emotion and crashes into “Euphoria Take My Hand,” a cathartic release that seems only fitting given the nature of the previous songs.
The group harnesses experiences that are birthed from pain and sadness to create a feeling of overall celebration and positivity. Glasvegas continues to live up to the hype and find ways to impress its audience.