I used to have a bootleg of takes from the sessions (which went on for years - I think the ones I had were from 1993) that was like the missing link between the two albums. It had a bunch of the same songs but the production was a lot more like the first album, more reverby and groove-based, it felt much more of a natural evolution from Fool's Gold and so on.
Still, I kind of like that Second Coming sounds nothing like the first album. You can certainly tell they were tight performers on it.
Did you head their comeback single All For One? That just made them sound like any low IQ mid 90's britpop band. The follow up Beautiful Thing was okay but basically just Stone Roses by numbers.