Glass Harbour

Distance From Departure

Written by: MAK on 31/12/2015 14:11:07

Having only formed in 2014, you would be forgiven in not having heard of Glass Harbour, a northern UK quintet who dabble in creating a mix between metalcore and melodic hardcore, though focussing more on the latter. In October, the Middlesbrough lads released their debut EP “Distance From Departure” as a demo to showcase their sound. Though from instant thoughts, it feels that with the calibre of recorded music in the hardcore scene, Glass Harbour don’t live up to scratch with their peers.

Instantly with intro piece “1642”, the fiddly little guitar plucking is reminiscent of early Funeral For A Friend, sounding a bit like the intro to “Bend Your Arms To Look Like Wings”. The opener is a nice and melodic intro piece for the most part, beautiful instrumentals until about half way through. Then the emotional shouting kicks in after a small drum progression. In all honesty at that point I’m less than impressed, the tone of vocalist Rob Bedford’s Being As An Ocean influenced shouts do not sound mixed well with the beautiful music.

In fact, it’s mostly the vocals that are the problem with the rest of this release. Throughout “Distance From Departure” the musicianship is spot on, I love the perky little guitar melodies that might end up going under appreciated due to being drowned out by the monotone shouts. The drumming too is quite intricate, the speedy little drum rolls at the very beginning of “Black” along with the off-beat kicks certainly prick your ears. It’s just the vocals are a bit too imposing on musicianship, distracting from those lovely melodies. Then there is the baffling overuse of gang vocals for the last minute on “One Day” - It is clearly mimicking “Chrono” from The Ghost Inside, but it is brave to do a gang shout segment that long on a demo, expecting that people might possibly pick up on the barely audible words to join in with them.

I take away some positives, but I mostly take away negatives from this debut release. I understand that to get yourself noticed, you need to get your music out there just to give people a feel for what you might sound like. Though judging from “Distance From Departure”, the production of the EP seems rushed, especially in making the vocals sound decent and in mixing them to fit the music better. The biggest negative is that the quality of this EP is below par when peers in the alternative scene are putting out some really well recorded and mixed EP’s that sound far more professional. This is the first release, so to expect something amazing was never on the cards, but for a future release, I really hope for an improvement.


Download: 1642, Black, One Day
For The Fans Of: Being As An Ocean, Funeral For A Friend, While She Sleeps

Release date 16.10.2015
Self Released

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