Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Reviews:: Glossary The Better Angels Of Our Nature

There are easily two distinct sides of the free equation. The first applies to a band like R@diohead; a band with so much money and so many fans that giving the record away in a pay for what you feel it's worth plan makes a lot of sense. The second (and more common) applies to bands that simply need to give the record away because, well, that is all they can get for it.

While Glossary might not be household names, to say they are the type of band that should have to give away their record for free is a huge mistake. The Better Angels of Our Nature is an honest look at Southern life; friendships, love, heartache and regret and easily one of my favorite musical discoveries of the year.

"Family's just another name for the ones you love."
"Doesn't matter if blood's thicker than water, when it's on your hands."

Glossary's music floats over you like that first warm day in the spring, but still hits you with the bite of diving into the pond before the water warms up. The quintet mixes just the right amount of whirling guitars with just enough melody to satisfy the country dirge and the rock n' roll lovers. I know that sounds incredibly cheesy and hype-y, but the gritty riff they use on Little Caney has more than enough muscle but the female harmonies and piano backing make this song incredibly accessible and addictive.

It also completely contrasts the southern blues of Almsgiver, a song that seems to have slipped through the cracks on your favorite juke box or AM radio playlist. The guitars surge forward ever so slightly, keeping you moving while Joey and Kelly hit you with sing-along lyrics. The recipe seems simple, and that's why this record is so enjoyable. They've managed to strip out all of the shit that kills so many of these rock records.

Too much production. Too pretentious. Too long.

No, Glossary manages to side step all of these obvious traps and instead writes song that simply sound like songs friends would sing on a porch step over some drinks (I would have loved to hear the simple notes of Gasoline Soaked Heart evolve over an afternoon before ending with a polished track with beautiful steel work) or scream along to in your local bar. The distorted guitar and organs on Shout It From The Rooftops make you want to pump your fist, and the three part harmonies really suit the title of the song perfectly and the Bitter Branch is a bar room anthem waiting to be discovered.

No, I'd have to really start searching to find any faults on this record, and that doesn't seem fair. Not when a band is doing everything they can to help you get to hear the songs. Not when every song channels and emotion and reminds you of days past, friends you don't see and lovers you've burned through. If you can tell me a better free gift than that, I'd love to hear it.
MP3:: Little Canay
MP3:: Gasoline Soaked Heart

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Posted at 2:18 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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