Glassjaw - Material Control

Material Control

I'll give you a little peak into my morning; Wake up, look at the new albums that have come out on Friday and then flabbergasted exclaim "Glassjaw have a new album out!?!?". It's been 15 years since their last release and 17 since their last stellar album. I used to listen to Glassjaw all the time, damn near wore out the CD, but that was back in 2000 or 2001 and things have changed. I went back and listened to some of their old stuff in preparation and to my shock I realized I don't really like Glassjaw that much anymore. I remember I used to bang my head and rage at their shows, I loved the stuff, but now older and wiser I realize maybe my teenage angst was driving my love for them more than anything else. Their music is still an aggressive blend between hardcore and emo with plenty of double bass to boot. You can occasionally pick out the vocals but usually it comes out as some mix between a scream and singing. The post hardcore scene has taken a hit with very few bands still making music and even fewer breaking through. You think of Mars Volta and Deftones when you listen to this record, but it is not as refined nor as emotionally charged. The Deftones get their power for smoldering furry where Glassjaw lays it all bare right from the beginning; total beating right from the start. "Strange Hours" breaks from this formula with this full voice and very little instrumentation. It sticks out like crazy though causing this big break in the middle of the record only to pick right back up at the pace it was already moving. The thing with Glassjaw though is you have to love the flaws, that's the point, to make music that touches on the most aggressive deep down emotions we have and letting those explode through music.

The musicianship however is at a very high level here. The guitars wail, the bass rumbles and the drums pound and pound into infinity. The album is relentless pushing the volume and pace track after track with "Closer" feeling like a frantic punk rock anthem. The record is so frantic one mintue its blaring away in your ears tearing down every wall in front of it, then suddenly its over and you are left in silence with a bit of the bends. Perhaps the biggest thing for me listening to the record was just how excited I was to hear it and how shocked I was when I actually did. I'm not quite sure what I was expecting, but it was not this. The reocrd is uneven as all hell but under it all is this real deep anger that bleeds through. It's music you listen to when it's time to fuck some shit up, but unfortunately it's not much else.

5.0 out of 10


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