Glassjaw

Our Color Green EP

Written by: AP on 26/01/2011 20:13:26

Eight years went without a hiss from one of the most enigmatic and influential bands of the underground: Glassjaw. Suffering from chronic health issues, vocalist Daryl Palumbo has never been a relentless tourist, but that not one nugget of new music has surfaced in the best part of a decade suggests Glassjaw might simply have been basking in their own clandestine glory, fucking with the minds of their fans. Why should a band regarded with such high esteem after just two studio albums, bother to expend any effort into conceiving yet another masterpiece, when it could become a recluse, stirring up exuberant fans every now and then with a privileged show or two, and achieve the status of cult legend by way of remaining as ambiguous and secretive as possible?

Last year, nonetheless, the band began issuing a series of steep, fresh, one-sided singles through an extravagant - and some might say arrogant - viral marketing campaign: one 7-inch was sold exclusively at a Long Island pizza parlor with orders, just to give some idea of the extent of fan abuse taking place courtesy of Glassjaw. These were rare treats for a few resourceful people, and although some of it has existed in well-documented bootlegs for almost four years - one even being around since the band's inception in 1993 - they created exactly the kind of demand and attention Glassjaw wanted before announcing, in the last days of 2010, that the band was finally gearing up to release a new album this year. And to silence the aggravated masses that had effectively been trolled for nearly a decade, on New Year's Day the five limited singles became available as a digital EP titled "Our Color Green", named after the first 7-inch the band ever recorded.

Almost no other band could survive a publicity stunt like the one Glassjaw pulled, but because Glassjaw happens to be of the strange and interesting heavy music generation that surfaced at the turn of the millennium along with the nu-metal atrocities, still generating some of the most inventive, alternative music available, the bitter feelings turn sweet the second "All Good Junkies Go to Heaven" begins with a tapped bass lead. Any Glassjaw fan appreciative of the band's wide-ranging, progressive spectrum will find a lot to love on "Our Color Green": there's a newfound jazzy looseness to their approach, from the lurching stop-starts and swaying yelps of "Jesus Glue" to the swelling atmosphere and frothing panic attacks of "Stars", but the grinding alterna-metal we have come to know, love and hopelessly expect more of, is still the core essence of every song.

The trouble with Glassjaw's experimental and often vicious palette always, is what you're supposed to say to someone who naïvely asks what the band sounds like. Post-hardcore, but not quite; screamo, but not really; and nu-metal... well, the murky aggression is there, but to lump Glassjaw into that putrid pile... no. Perhaps the best way, thus, to describe "Our Color Green" to the modern scene enthusiast is to liken it to bands like Letlive and Jacobi Wichita, while more seasoned veterans of the underground music scene might find references to Helmet, Quicksand and even the Dillinger Escape Plan more appropriate. The point is that "Our Color Green" contains a patchwork of influence: the older screamo temperament, the subtle angularities, and the unabated fury making it all decidedly Glassjaw, and promising that the full-length the band is supposed to drop later this year could make for a formidable comeback. While holding your breath, however, these five singles should provide the necessary catharsis or fix, whichever you prefer.

Download: All Good Junkies Go to Heaven, Jesus Glue, Stars, You Think You're (John Fucking Lennon)
For the fans of: Cursive, Deftones, Jacobi Wichita, Letlive, Thursday (old), United Nations
Listen: YouTube has some clips

Release date 01.01.2011
Self-released

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