It takes great fortitude for a newbie band to attempt the kind of epic-rock grandeur U2 has perfected. Judging by their sweeping debut album, Leeds, England-born, New York-based quartet Your Vegas isn't afraid to give it a shot.
Luckily, the band also has the talent, if not the originality, to back up their ambition. It helps that lead singer Coyle Girelli is a latter-day Bono who can make poignant declaratives soar over bright guitar jangle and layers of synth, but the arena-pop sound is nothing without expert songwriting. You need surging verses, big choruses and lyrics about everything anyone in the world ever cared about. "A Town and Two Cities" has all that too.
But maybe Your Vegas is a little too good at packing whole roller coasters of human emotion into neat 3- and 4-minute guitar anthems. Their catchy tunes do rely heavily on cliche. On "Troubled Times," the world's gone mad, and on "Birds of Paradise," it's you and me against the world, and so on. After the initial thrill wears off, it all seems a bit studied. Now that Your Vegas has mastered outsize pop-rock, the band's next challenge is to make the idiom their own.
CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: Namesake song "Your Vegas" neatly showcases the band's strengths: spare verses, anthemic choruses and carpe diem lyrics.