Glass The Sky. Photo: Scot Overholser
Every once in awhile I come across music that doesn’t seem to fit into one particular genre, instead crisscrossing multiple genres while still never fully fitting into one or another. On their debut full length album, Houston’s Glass The Sky never truly commits to a specific genre, but rather dances across many, crafting a sound that’s entirely their own. The self-titled album, referred to by the band as LP1, could be classified as post rock by some or perhaps even indie rock, but delving into the ten tracks you find that it’s really neither but both at the same time while also offering up so much more.
Opening with “Dog Fight,” the band utilizes vocals as the catalyst for the song, an element that will show up continuously throughout the track. The band’s use of piano alongside a meandering guitar and drums seems to snap all over the place while never feeling loose. This is definitely not what you’d hear on a typical rock song, nor is it what you’d hear in an indie rock track, or at least not orchestrated the way the band offers up here. Followed by a driving pace of guitars and the piano that hops back in for another view, the song sounds like nothing you’ve heard before while holding your attention through its unconventional approach. This is only taken further on the second track, “Puffins.” Starting with snaps and claps that seem to clear the path for multiple guitar tracks, the closest thing the band comes to in terms of relatable sound would be the early works of Kurt Vile mixed with hints of Mother Falcon and The New Pornographers. However, even with those comparisons, what the five-piece is doing here is more diverse and offers up something that’s arty without being difficult to enjoy.
By the opening of the third track, “Argentina,” when the band literally sings the song’s title to open things up, you should realize that Glass The Sky isn’t going to operate in a way that’s easy to understand. Multiple instrumentations with snappy drums and violin are only made more eclectic by the vocals of lead singer Eric Lungstrum and keys that seem to only appear when needed. The way in which this band writes is something that’s definitely its own, where melodies and harmonies feel like that of someone who’s studied the elements of music over that of the typical band. All of the sounds within are taken into consideration, while the band never deters from doing things their own way. However, that approach pays off, and midway through the album “Elephant” is about as close to traditional as the band gets. With more of a rock approach, the song is closest to sounding like what would happen if U2 and Explosions In The Sky made an album together. The post rock leanings of the song really show that this band can really take their music anywhere they want to, and the chorus is as catchy as it can get; you certainly won’t forget it after the first listen. There are so many sides to the band that you might forget this is their debut album, with so many elements finding their way into each and every track as if they were crafted by a music scientist.
They up the ante even further on the space-induced, almost psych-sounding song “Isochron” before settling into a more mainlined tenor. Finding the notes between seems to really be the band’s strong suit, as there are moments on the song that feel like the drums and the guitars are finding notes you wouldn’t expect without ever alienating the listener. While the band takes things in a funkier direction on “Fat Synth,” they keep things a little closer to the vest on “Touch.” Though the song will be the closest to a slow song, it’s one of the prettiest and most progressive on the entire album. Upon first listen, you’ll notice that the combination of vocals, piano and drums are intersected with lush guitar tones that seem to curl and snake their way onto the song like quiet beings in the night. With all of the elements played together, there’s a subtle beauty in how they orchestrate a sound that is intense without being dark, diverse without sounding foreign. The band finishes off the album with the synth and guitar cluster of “Zero Sum,” where they seem to find a space between the beginning and the end of the album. Continuing to do things differently than most bands, the conventional song seems like the fitting end to an album with more twists and turns than a mystery novel. Sticking with traditional post rock components, the bridge in the song is one of the most intricate and thematic orchestrations you’ll hear.
I don’t know if it’s that I don’t listen to a bunch of post rock music or that I’ve always been intrigued with what Glass The Sky has tried to do, but I couldn’t help but enjoy every song on this album. By incorporating a different approach to every note and every track, Glass The Sky quickly proves that doing things the way you want can pay off.
You can grab your own copy of “LP1” when Glass The Sky performs their album release party on Saturday, April 1 at White Oak Music Hall upstairs. The all ages show with doors at 8 pm will also feature sets from A Sundae Drive, The Wheel Workers, and The Ex-Optimists with a $7 cover.
Glass The Sky Forges Their Own Path on Debut Album syndicated post