Glasvegas, EUPHORIC /// HEARTBREAK \\\

Dave Thompson

By Dave Thompson

on 03.28.11 in Reviews



Three years after they awoke to discover they'd been dubbed (by Alan McGee) the most important Scottish band of all time and two years after they squeezed out a debut that threatened to live up to that hype, it's Difficult Second Album time for Glasvegas; that one-shot moment when the past is forgotten, and they have to prove what else they can do.

No longer punching above their own weight

Well, for starters, they can open things with an overture, the kind of Big Noise designed to shake stadiums for the next few years. "Pain Pain Never Again" is as lyrically lachrymose as it ought to be with a title like that; James Allen's vocals are deliciously strangled, and if there's any sense of Business As Usual, it's that Euphoric Heartbreak still finds the band sounding like the mutant offspring of the Killers and U2, if Stone Roses donated the sperm.

Sufficiently symphonic that you have to play it loud and impassioned enough to make you wish for a broken heart, Glasvegas are no longer punching above their own weight. What they are doing is carving a unique path through universe-size sonics that could have been grotesquely bombastic if the songs underneath it weren't so good. And that is good enough. Turns out, the second album wasn't so difficult, after all.