Pallid ashen skin, tight white jeans and a bare chest scribed with the legendary quote from Blade Runner's renegade replicant, Roy Batty. Glasvegas, James Allan never looked so far removed, staring kholed eye from the cover of national magazine earlier this year, from when his band first emerged from the streets of Dalmarock clad head to toe in black and leather And, that's not all that's changed since the band first unleashed their Mercury Music Awards nominated platinum self-titled debut.

At the start of recording their new sophomore album, Euphoric///Heartbreak\\\, original drummer Caroline McKay left the band citing the well laboured rock 'n' roll excuse of "personal reasons". In her place, Jonna Löfgren was recruited after fitting the bill of Rab Allan's strict criteria of: "I want a drummer, I want a woman, I want her to be Swedish." Also, rather than returning to write the album in dark streets of Brooklyn and Glasgow like their debut, Allan opted to demo the album in the sunnier climes and seaside view of LA setting up a home studio a few yards from where Marilyn Monroe, who adorns the record's artwork, was photographed whilst filming her final movie, Something's Got To Give. He returned to London to record the album with the rest of the band, and for the first time, with Flood the renowned producer for the likes of stadium favourites, U2, Killers and Depeche Mode. In Allan's words, Glasvegas have "gone from Disney to Levi's"

From the overblown French intro of 'Pain Pain Never Again' to the spoken word close of 'Change' delivered by Allan's own mother, Euphoric///Heartbreak\\\ is a record that is looking to make a big impact. The most endearing elements of their debut, the Phil Spector-esque drum breaks, soaring choruses and engulfing atmospherics, have been pumped full of steroids to become a grotesque reincarnation of the band's former Mercury glory. 'The World Is Yours' perforates your eardrum with the drowning chord progression straight from the Bunnymen's 'Killing Moon', before launching into the obligatory lighters-in-the-air chorus.

Floods influence is firmly imprinted on every track steering the band in the direction similar to his past artists with big chords and even bigger choruses. 'Shine Like Stars' has the base electro of U2's Pop, whilst 'Euphoria, Take My Hand's' guitar solo eerily echoes, Killers' 'All These Things I've Said And Done'. Unlike the gradual yet gratifying build-up to of tracks like 'Geraldine' from their debut, Floods’ overblown production makes each track nose-bleedingly overwhelming. 'You' dispenses with any foreplay going straight for the climax as Allan stretches his vocals to Bono like proportions with wails of, "yoooouuuu", clumsily crashing against the pulsating Doves-like beat driving the track. Rather than the exhilaration you felt when coming into the aching crescendo of 'It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Track', each track's deafening atmospherics leaves you more and more numb.

Lyrically, the album focuses on Allan's personal life opposed to the social commentary that made-up the backbone of their debut as seen with tracks like 'Geraldine' and 'Stabbed'. Coming from a band that's last EP, A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss), had a song called 'Fuck You' - that perfectly mixed delicate arrangements with brutal honesty - the boy-love-girl love songs fall flat in comparison. 'Whatever Hurts You Through The Night' croons of "I wonder if you feel the same like you do" feels like a Psychedelic Furs b-side from Pretty In Pink. Reportedly taking his inspiration from the sea, you start to feel as if you're slowly drowning in the sur of Allan's ego.

But, there are a few standout tracks that come up for air beneath the swell of gut wrenching choruses, power chords and lyrical slush. 'I Feel Wrong (Homosexuality Part I)' is stripped back with a stuttering tension as Allan vocals are at their most tender and sublime. Whilst, the seven minute opus of, 'Lots Sometime', slowly caresses you with gentle tapped beats and warm chords and before building up the momentum into a whirlwind romance. Both tracks testify that the record is at its best when the band relies less on grandiose production and quick win choruses and instead let the tracks breathe.

Euphoric///Heartbreak\\\ sees Glasvegas take the dubious step up the well-trodden narrow staircase to going from a mid-tier band to a stadium rock giant and in doing so they have sacrificed what made themselves so unique in the first place.

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