Saturday, April 11, 2015

Glass : "WSBF Live Sessions - Foreign Bastard

Due to it's incestuous relationship with with the sub-culture that has now become known as "hipsters" Indie rock has becomes a bad word. It brings to mind college kids who pretentiously try to make  music with no pretense. Most probably listened to pop punk in high school as they grew up in the Burbs and now that they are sowing their oats in bigger urban areas they are trying a little of everything, since unlike punks and metal heads they don't have anything they identify with so strongly that it sticks and stays. What does this have to do with Glass? Well they are indie rock  not tainted with the previously mentioned garbage that gets attached to indie rock. This is not something you would expect to come out of Greenville, SC. The post-punk elements rub elbows with breezy Sonic Youth like drones. The vocals sometimes have a  Lou Reed quality to their plaintive recital of the lyrics. The guitar is often noisy and jagged , but even more often holds a melodic jangle. The bass sound is crisp, but not heavy on the opener and the guitar tone reminds me of late 90s Pj Harvey. The end is abrupt sending them stumbling  on  into "S-Man" the band indulges in their gloomier side, but they never touch on the big G word . Their ambiance comes from a rawer expand and contract dynamic. The vocals some times sound like Thurston Moore singing Kim Gordon's parts. Almost  a Rage Against the Machine build up on "Room One", think "Bulls on Parade". The vocals can sometimes be a point of contention on this song, but the guitar tone makes up for it.

There is a slight darker tinge to the latent heaviness in the angular groove of " I'm Made of Plastic" it's vague in it's allusions to a Kyuss like stoner rock. This is one of the album's most original songs because you can not pin it to one sub-genre, much less a band they are drawing inspiration from. Not that their influences aren't more apparent in certain portions of the album.They find more crunch in the closing song (and Spark) finding a perfect balance of clean effected guitar tones with a organic heavy feeling so it never feels like you listening to mall metal, though at times comparisons to bands like Hum and Helmet could apply. I can appreciate how stepped in various angles of the 90s these cats are.This is alive recording which is even more impressive. Either they were running into a board of Clemson radio station or some one really knew how to mic a room. I'll give this one an 8.

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