Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Artist of the Day: Glassjaw

It's not often that one finds a band making such radically aggressive yet technically proficient music as Glassjaw. Coming out of the rich Long Island scene, Glassjaw is easily recognizable by their combination of tight cymbal work, fast-paced guitars and Daryl Palumbo's hallmark vocals that combine to create one of the most memorable post-hardcore acts of the 2000s. Despite, or perhaps due to the band's internal issues- including disputes with their label Roadrunner Records, the near-constant lineup changes and Palumbo's Crohn's disease- they are able to unite under the same umbrella of organized chaos to make some of the least synchronous, best produced records ever released. Nearly everything about the band seems out of place: Palumbo's trademark sneer and aversion to harsh vocals are both unique for the scene, the guitar lines are reliant on high string riffs rather than the typical powerchord arrangements and a rhythm section that rarely provides actual rhythm.

However, this is element of competition rather than cooperation is what makes Glassjaw so interesting to listen to. Very few bands, especially in their genre, can pull off the kind of technicality that Glassjaw incorporate into every song. When the leaked drum and bass sessions from Worship and Tribute hit the internet a few years ago, fans were amazed to hear the amount of precision involved in playing the backbone of Glassjaw's sound. The mutualistic relationship that the instruments have combined with Palumbo's off-the-wall vocals and presence (despite sounding ill-fit to be the vocalist for this kind of band) all combine to make a cacophony that anyone can appreciate. The band may have its flaws, but the results are indisputable: Worship and Tribute is a modern classic and Evreything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence was a kick in the pants to all other bands in the region with a message proclaiming that the game had been changed by a few kids from New York. They may have only made two albums and a handful of EP's thus far, but Glassjaw's legacy is undeniable.


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