It might seem unfair to measure a band by their first effort, but Glasvegas may have set the bar too high to reach when they released their self-titled debut five years ago. First 2011’s Euphoric Heartbreak failed to meet the expectations garnered by that stunning opening, and now Later…When The TV Turns To Static finds itself struggling down the same path as its predecessor.
Make no mistake, Later… is definitely not a bad record, but it’s hard not to be disappointed when nothing even approaches the superb drama of tracks such as ‘Geraldine’ from their debut album. The gloomy Scots have nailed down their particular brand of operatic indie rock over three albums, but seem to have lost the ability to make their songs memorable at the same time. The arena-filling attitude is still there as, backed by shimmering guitars, frontman James Allan’s soaring vocals reach for the cheap seats. But that crucial something is missing.
The songs stick to the tried-and-true Glasvegas formula as far as lyrical content goes, with family tragedy and relationship dramas the standard fare. Custody battle ballad ‘All I Want Is My Baby’ is one of the few standout tracks, with Allan’s thick Scottish accent pleading intimately one minute and then growling accusingly the next. ‘Youngblood’ and ‘If’ are also highlights, the latter’s ode to darkness and all the bad things in the world comes across as strangely uplifting with lyrics such as, “If not for the bad stuff / The good would never be enough”.
Glasvegas have stuck to their familiar style and attempted to imitate the success of their first album, but struggle to create anything as lasting.
BY KEIRON COSTELLO
Later… When The TV Turns To Static is out now through BMG Rights/Cooking Vinyl