Euphoric /// Heartbreak \\\
Following an opener that’s more U2 than Jesus and Mary Chain, the second track, “You,” makes a hairpin U-turn back to the wall of sound that marked the band’s acclaimed debut. Thhis time around, there’s a subdued production and restraint in the performance; the band’s prior flirtation with ‘60s girl-group cool has evaporated here. Instead, Euphoric ///Heartbreak\\\ abounds with anthemic pop trimmed with an impassioned emotional urgency, punctuated by singer James Allan’s skyward croons and a newfound attraction to ‘80s new romanticism. “Shine Like Stars” brims over with all kinds of love for Boy, October, and War. The sparkling synthesizers of “Whatever Hurts You Through the Night” dare to recall a-ha’s “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.” before the dramatic “Euphoria Take My Hand” rubs Allan’s vulnerability against the grain of the song’s confident bombast. Diametric antithesis plays another role in “Lost Sometimes,” where lyrics of harrowing heartbreak ride over achingly romantic melodies.