Later... When The TV Turns To Static

Written by: TL on 29/09/2013 16:47:07

In perfect honesty, I was a little surprised when I found out that Glasvegas were still going on, and that they had put out a third album in form of "Later... When The Television Turns To Static" earlier this year. I suppose such a sudden burst of success as the one the Scottish quartet had with the "Geraldine" single off 2008's self-titled debut LP can give any band enough of a taste of the limelight to motivate a certain stubborn persistance, but 2011's "EUPHORIA /// HEARTBREAK \\\" felt like a rather stagnant stab at Coldplay imitation, nevermind the grave issues of homosexuality that was sung about amidst the inflated, echoing soundscapes.

The album opens with its own title track, quickly establishing both what the band's essential sound is and what's the new nuance on this their third LP. Basically, a gently strummed, effect-ladden guitar melody carries the song almost from start to finish, atop a pedestrian drum-beat, while vocalist James Allans quickly surges from a subdued, muttered Glasgow dialect to a strained croon that's as melodramatic as he can possibly deliver it. That's what Glasvegas is; A wordplay on Glasgow and Las Vegas (a nod to likely influences in The Killers perhaps?) that delivers instant and consistent pathos via the simplest means available.

For both of their previous albums, it's been a matter of pulling this off with a few would-be stadium sized choruses, and it's the same here, with the small twist that - as the title hints, the band is going for a more gritty, mundane touch, as static can indeed be heard buzzing in the background of the title-track, and the feeling is carried over in the gloomy bass and ambiance of the following track "Youngblood", the mopey vocals and melody of which almost remind me of fellow Scotsmen The Twilight Sad, albeit in a less uncompromising sort of "light" version.

And while I realise that a comparison between The Twilight Sad and Glasvegas very much has one seeming like an indie band to the other's radio rock, I think it's exactly such a comparison that reveals what continues to be Glasvegas' weakness. While The Twilight Sad's carefully conjured, howling misery feels sort of like a mystery one wants to get inside, Glasvegas take their melancholia and throw it in the listeners' face with banal lines like "I don't wanna die, but I don't want to live, not really a lie" in "Choices" or "All I want is my baaaaabyyyyyyyyyy!" in the track of the same name.

All things considered, the diminished chart impact that Glasvegas has had with "Later..." is a likely return of it being merely another shade of the same easily accessible moodyness that they've catered from the word go, and just like previous efforts, though it has a few cuts that are catchy enough to get you singing along half-conciously, it's another record for the band where the songs parallel each other so nearly and so simply, that it's a challenge to keep paying attention to it past the mid-section. So if you were a fan of this band from the beginning, you can rest assured that Glasvegas stick loyally to their guns, but taking a view from the top, these lads need to pen the big choruses much more consistently if they don't want to slide back into obscurity. Because other than the occasional good chorus, they don't have much going for them in terms of variety or dynamics.


Download: Youngblood, Later... When The TV Turns To Static, I'd Rather Be Dead (Than Be With You)
For The Fans Of: Snow Patrol, U2, Oasis, The Killers

Release Date 02.09.2013

Related Items | How we score?
comments powered by Disqus


© Copyright MMXXI