Tuesday 3 November 2009

Cross Blogination #7 Glassjaw - Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence

The opening squall of a vocal nearly made me cough up my tea. It was my first Cross Blogination, 'I am gonna hate this,' moment. But it didn't last.

This is Paul's break up album and 'Glassjaw's' d├ębut from 2000 is one angry record. It reminded me of an album I bought around six or seven years ago by 'The Used', certainly the vocal style used here by Daryl Palumbo is very similar. Every once in a while he just howls. It's a sound I'm not even sure I can make. I could try, but I think that my lungs would have be spooned back in after the event.

Where this album differs from 'The Used' is the sound behind the vocals. It's less polished and anthemic, with a much rougher edge and better for it. It certainly suits the aggression in the lyrics. Reading through some of the lyrics for tracks like 'Lovebites and Razorlines' one can only imagine how badly this guy was scorned, there's an incredible amount of anger here. But frankly who hasn't wanted to scream stuff like this at someone once in a while.

Who you fucking now?
You fucking eat shit, you filthy shit
who you fucking now!?!
who you fucking now!!!!

I kid you not ladies, that is how you make us feel once in a while, but not all the time obviously. It's also an ace song that just hits you hard and low with its power and you can imagine singing/screaming along post a messy break up.

Sometimes when you listen to a band you can hear them going through the motions as the creative force behind the band loses their muse. This is not one of those moments. Snow Patrol's last album was a pastiche of the previous one as Gary Lightbody found happiness outside of the band. Glassjaw use the raw emotion of a relationship failure to create an album that attacks the same topics that Lightbody's band write about but in a completely different way. Here it's all about the raw anger, rather than the melancholy. And fuck, does it sound dangerous.

There are moments of relief from all the intensity 'Ry Ry's Song' and 'Her Middle Name was Boom' are less over powering, the latter being one of the best songs on the album.

'Majour' though, which comes at around half way is stunning. Great riff and a stonking vocal. A proper post punk rock song. Album closer 'Hotel of the White Locust' is by far my favourite track here though. It's such a potent song full of all that angst and anger everyone of us has felt at rejection.

Who could ever..
Who the fuck could ever..
Take the place of me?
Who could ever..
Who the fuck could ever..
No one can the place of me?

Couple it with the music that accompanies the track and you have a perfect example of where the EMO school should have headed. This is not gonna be an album for everyone. The lyrics alone would put some off. It is hard, it is heavy, but there's a quality throughout that shines through. It may not be an album that I'll listen to loads (I'm in a happy place) but the next time I get my heartbroken it's coming out for sure.*


Now go see Paul's review at The Blog on the Motorway. Oh and while you're there have a read of his piece entitled 'Fallen Idle'. If you were a fan of the Smashing Pumpkins it pretty much sums up how we all feel about Billy Corgan.

*This post contains my first official F-Bombs. Sorry to anyone offended, but Glassjaw's lyrics wouldn't look right with a bunch of f***ing stars in them. Alright?

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