By James Bentley
Back on the 14th of January; Hamish Hutcheson, Niall Goldie, Conor Goldie, Carlo Kriekaard and Alex Pearson; five Scots residing from Glasgow - better known as VLURE, released their 5 track EP, ‘Euphoria’. Combining Indie with Electropunk, it feels as though VLURE are taking us on a journey back to the 90’s with this EP. With clear inspiration from the likes of The Prodigy and Underworld, the band attempt to restore rave culture back to its origins and educate their listeners in the process.
Like strapping dynamite to a vault in Fort Knox, the EP makes an explosive entrance with its empowering opening track ‘Show Me How to Live Again’. You’ve heard the slogan ‘If Carlsberg did…’, well I’ve got a new one ‘If Begbie from Trainspotting did…’, and if Begbie from Trainspotting did FIFA Football game soundtracks, well, it would sound a lot like this.
Although minimal with its lyrical content, the song celebrates a post lockdown society. It is a rally call, gathering up the troops and encouraging the youth to invade the late-night town and take back what is rightfully theirs. Furthermore, as Hutcheson repeatedly roars the six-word title with such passion and aggression, it is clear he is using the track as a platform to protest the government’s amoral authority.
The next two tracks on the EP are ‘Heartbeat’ and ‘The Storm’. What I love about these songs is that they almost tell a story that follows on from the first track; a trilogy if you will. Where ‘Show Me How to Live Again’ is the exciting build up to the night – when you’re sitting at work on a Friday afternoon and think ‘not long now’, ‘Heartbeat’ is when the night has officially arrived. It’s around 11pm, pre’s are over and you’re now officially in the club. Although still Indie, this song possesses elements of trance about it, and with repeated lyrics such as ‘Give me a release’, it blends beautifully to make the perfect rave anthem.
Furthermore, although still fast paced, the drums are slower than that of ‘Show Me How to Live Again’. I personally interpret this to reflect that point of the night where every individual in attendance is now on the dancefloor, when you look around, all that is in sight is luminous glow sticks and dilated pupils. Everything is going on as normal, but you’re suddenly seeing it at a slower speed. You’re unsure whether it’s the alcohol and / or the jittery flashing effect of the lights, but either way, you know you’ve never felt so amazing.
However, after every incredible night is the morning after. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you ‘The Storm’. What can I say about this song… it is beautifully disturbing. With the slow tempo representing the weak pulse of a self-diagnosed dying individual, the violent crash of the drums symbolizing the roaring car alarm that rings repetitively inside the walls of a foolish cranium, and the aggressive vocals screaming lyrics such as ‘rain keeps falling, that’s what I’ve been told’ conveying intense feelings of regret and anxiety – this song is a masterpiece. Not only the song of all songs for hangovers, but a brilliantly accurate conclusion to such a well-known and familiar story.
Not only the next song on the EP, but what I also consider to be the most interesting is ‘I Won’t Run (From Love)'. There’s a couple of reasons why this is the case, but I’ll start with the most obvious – the sound. Sound is a very generic word for a music review article, I know, but hear me out. Where the first three tracks possess a sort of dark, up to no good tone about them, ‘I Won’t Run’ has a more uplifting feel to it. The instrumental alone is a lot more indie, pop-rock, and something I would expect more from the likes of Blossoms, or The 1975.
Furthermore, what I also admire about this song is its depth and the ability to make you think. As I stated previously, the first three tracks on this EP are like their own trilogy. However, with the content of this song being about no longer avoiding love, it begs the question, does it symbolise maturity. That moment in your life when you realise that all the crazy nights, all the alcohol consumption, it’s just been you running away and ignoring your own troubles. That moment when you realize partying is no longer a solution, and what you really must do is look your insecurities in the eye and address them, and as scary as it might seem, you suddenly feel like brighter days are ahead. That moment when you must accept the red hand mark of adulthood that has just slapped you right across the face (I swear, I wrote that before the Oscars).
If that is the case here and there is a link present with the previous three tracks, not only does it fit the uplifting profile beautifully, but it also illustrates the true genius of this band, and just how complex they can really be as musicians.
Finally, not only the last track of the EP, but also my favorite, is ‘Euphoria’. I consider this favoritism to be no coincidence. As the track that the EP is named after, and the headline act, I can only assume this was done intentionally by the band, and thus I am far from the only one with this opinion. As the song starts with the lyrics ‘Monday morning when we wake / we fall and we hate’, ‘But Friday night, I’ll be alright, although I might die’, it’s clear that you are listening to a summarised analysis of the previous four tracks. This is further illustrated by the way the track enables itself to sound both identical, but opposed from the rest of the EP. It’s both dark and uplifting at the exact same time. I interpret this to symbolize the sheer bittersweetness that links back to ‘I Won’t Run’.
When you reflect on your youth, and despite the many, many funny moments, you can’t help but look back overall and cringe. But this is followed by clarity, as everything you have been told by your parents and older peers not only starts to make sense, but it also feels right. That is 'Euphoria'.
Finally, what I love most about this song is the chorus. Simply just the words ‘This is your Euphoria’, but it’s the vocal delivery, I find it spine tingling. Like a cross between a choir singing and a football stadium chant - it reminds me of the Pet Shop Boys. It fills me with motivation and drive, to stand up tall and let my own voice be heard. There aren’t many songs that can do that, especially nowadays, and just for that reason alone, I credit it as being superior.
In conclusion, this EP has made for a very unusual experience when writing this article. With previous articles, I find that I personally enjoy the project, but objectively speaking, there isn’t anything particularly special about it. However, in this case, I find it has been the complete opposite – I personally wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to this band, or this EP, it’s just not my cup of tea. But from a neutral perspective, I really admire them, I have a huge amount of respect for what they are doing and their ability to formulate their own innovative unique sound. I think VLURE are entitled to and are more than capable of gaining a huge amount of credibility, and everybody should give them the time of day at least once!
If you would like to find out more about VLURE or listen to their music, you can find the links to all their social platforms below via the icons: