Release Date: Sep 3, 2013
Record label: Relativity
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Alarm bells probably started to sound around Later… When the TV turned to Static when Glasvegas frontman, former footballer, and self-styled people’s poet James Allan opted to record the band’s third album on Pavarotti’s mixing desk, the very bit of kit the late master of the lyric stage recorded his definitive ‘Nessun Dorma’ on – the operatic equivalent of ‘Stairway to Heaven’. With Later…, Glasvegas have attempted a melancholic fusion of delaysoaked indie rock and grand operatic scale but have unfortunately fallen rather flat. Perhaps it’s relying too much on the shamanistic magic of a dusty collection of old transistors rather than solid songwriting; maybe it's symptomatic of an overriding and premature desire to get back on the horse after an indifferently received second album but for a band with the pedigree of Glasvegas, it’s a decidedly lacklustre effort; more emptily melodramatic and histrionic than it is truly emotive and compelling.
Glasvegas' third studio effort, 2013's Later. . .
Glasgow quartet Glasvegas took the world by storm in 2008 when their eponymous debut of shimmering wall of sound indie-pop made a significant impression on critics and the public alike, reaching Number 2 in the UK album chart in the process. Having supported Dirty Pretty Things and Ian Brown on the way to its release, they had already generated plenty of interest. The hype before that debut was released reached fever pitch – and for once the hype was justified, and the album was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.
There was a time about five years ago when Glasvegas appeared to be Scotland's answer to Kings of Leon. Here was a foursome whose songs were built on drunken, swaggering romanticism, leadman James Allan playing the piss-n'-vinegared Scottish equivalent of KOL's raspy-throated Tennessee scamp Caleb Followill. Perhaps more importantly, the band had licks to match the giant emotions of Allan's slurred manchild contritions.
It's a mystery to everyone bar the band themselves why Glasvegas followed their dynamic debut album with the stadium synth-pop of Euphoric Heartbreak. Two years on and, happily, they're playing to their strengths, placing reverb-drenched guitars at the heart of their third album, while displaying a familiarity with restraint. What's unchanged, however, is James Allan's rasping voice, which elevates the album's weaker songs.
Where did it go wrong for Glasvegas? Having become one of the UK’s premier providers of terrace anthems for the drunk and emotional on their self-titled 2008 debut, the Glasgow band flopped with the pompous ‘Euphoric Heartbreak’ two years later. But they’re back, and the new album is a bold statement of intent and hope, packed with the same heart and turmoil that have become the band’s bruised trademark. It consolidates what made ‘Glasvegas’ great, while streamlining the ‘ambition’ (read: overblown production, lack of a killer single) that hampered ‘Euphoric…’.
In only a few years, Glasvegas, the Indie Rock band from Glasgow, Scotland, has done some amazing things. The band has released two top ten albums which sold millions of copies and attained either overwhelming critical praise or generally favorable reviews. After being dropped from Sony Music, the band was picked up by Sony’s former joint-venture partner, BMG and have released Later… When the TV Turns to Static, their third album (not counting their 2008 Christmas EP).