Coloring Book EP

Written by: AP on 26/03/2011 00:46:55

Fan outcry has become synonymous with Glassjaw in recent years. Having systematically pushed back the release of their mythical next album like Chinese democracy, and offered provocative nuggets of hope through a series obscure viral marketing campaigns over the years, even the band's most astute followers began to voice their dissatisfaction at the seemingly intentional harassment last year. Abracadabra; the clock had barely struck midnight on New Year's Eve when "Our Color Green", an EP compilation of demos, bootlegs and unreleased songs, became available for digital download. The prospect of a new album landing sometime in the nearest future was palpable at last.

But why stop there, thought Glassjaw, and decided to refute the flagrant criticism by releasing another EP just weeks later. Although many of the featured tracks have been performed live prior, these studio recordings are the best representation of what Glassjaw have now become, and indeed what we should expect from the forthcoming new album. For "Coloring Book" is a bold step forward, one that sees the band dust off their scrappy, antagonistic post-hardcore roots and evolve into a different beast altogether. Glassjaw now seem more intent on exploring musical texture and sublime melancholy, achieving this through haunting tones, subtle instrumental augmentation and, oddly enough, profuse psychedelia.

The intoxicating bass lines of Manny Carrerro assume a leading role here, just as Daryl Palumbo refrains from frantic screaming almost entirely, resulting in the most expansive spectrum of musical experimentation from the band to date. A wounded animal aggressively lashing out at every turn no longer, the likes of "Black Nurse", "Gold" and "Vanilla Poltergeist Shake" compel the listener to a dream state ripe with images of At the Drive-in and The Mars Volta jamming during a major acid trip, while "Miracles in Inches" presents the closest Glassjaw will likely ever come to sounding like their old selves. Indeed, once the two dream pop odysseys that follow have passed, fans will probably find their minds seriously boggled.

"Coloring Book" invests considerable thought in structure and accentuation, coming across as deeper and more profound than "Our Color Green". It may lack the immediacy and discernible emotion of the band's past successes, but with patience and meticulous attention to detail it manifests itself as their most mature and complete record to date. The lofty melancholy that reigns over the EP is both suffocating and liberating, but in so much as marking the sound of a band reborn, one is left hungering for the punch and cacophony of past endeavors.


Download: Black Nurse, Gold, Vanilla Poltergeist Shake, Miracles in Inches
For the fans of: At the Drive-in, Deftones, The Mars Volta
Listen: YouTube has some clips

Release date 14.02.2011

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