James Allan, Glasvegas song-writer, guitarist, vocalist and frontman, says “the song is about the things we believe in, religion and media, idols and Gods and yet what people are looking for is inside themselves already.”
After smashing onto the alternative rock scene with 2008’s fantastic debut album and grabbing the rock universe by the jugular, they almost as quickly disappeared from the landscape with the disappointing and erratic follow-up Euphoric Heartbreak. Fortunately, on Later…When The TV Turns To Static, we hear the Glasgow natives back in the dark, tumultuous plane that brings such joy to our ears.
The band’s name, Glasvegas sounds like a combination of their home town of Glasgow and Las Vegas and stretching that connection, I can see similarities with the music of two stalwarts artists from those cities, Simple Minds and The Killers. Glasvegas offers the same lush arrangements and fantastically layered songs which serve as the ideal backdrop for superb, distinctive vocals.
James Allan is the band’s primary songwriter and lead vocalist. His soul wrenching vocals are the constant highlight across the ten tracks of Later…When The TV Turns To Static. The album, produced by Allan, is nicely orchestrated and not simply a collection of ten good songs. Listening to the tracks, I’m not sure there’s any one track with the same commercial appeal as their 2008 hit single, “Geraldine,” but the album does not have a weak offering.
It’s an album that quite frankly is probably best listened to on a nice stereo, speakers cranked, while sipping a glass of Glenmorangie 18 Years Old. It’s just one of those albums. The songs are all incredibly creative; often featuring dark introspective lyrics, typically enveloped in lush optimistic musical landscapes. It’s quite refreshing, and quite good.
The band’s first single from the album is the captivating “If.” It’s a great glimpse into what you’re going to find throughout the album. Heart pounding drums, killer guitar licks and Allan’s pristine vocals and thought-provoking lyrics: “If not for fear, hope is nowhere near…”
Other highlights from the album include the stirring “All I Want is My Baby,” where we hear Allan lament “It’s All About the Money, I hope it makes you happy,” as he laments about the travails of a man dealing with the challenges of child support. “Secret Truth offers a hypnotic, trance-like guitar from James Allan’s brother Rab which briefly steals the spotlight. “I’d rather Be Dead Than Be With You,” features stirringly exposed vocals from James Allan accompanied by a perfectly arranged haunting piano duet.