After a six year stint of silence, New York’s high priests of post-hardcore, Glassjaw, have returned to their awe-inspiring ways with their latest EP release Our Color Green [The Singles]. For those unfortunate souls who haven’t yet discovered and climbed aboard the musical behemoth that is Glassjaw, a quick recap: GJ is four piece band consisting of Justin Beck (guitar), Manuel Carrero (bass), Durijah Lang (drums) and Daryl Palumbo (vox), who some of you may know exclusively as the frontman of Head Automatica. Since their forming in 1993, to their game-changing 2000 album debut Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence, to their follow-up masterpiece Worship & Tribute, to the dozens upon dozens of fury-paced live shows across continents, GJ has been an indelible force within many a music scene. Their shapeless blend of punk, hardcore, afro-jazz, and other arrays of miscellaneous styles shapes their indescribable brand of beats begetting schizophrenic riffs, and baselines atop Palumbo’s ever teetering melancholic to maniacal vocals, have carved a path up and down the ear canals of fans literally across the globe.
Side projects, line-up changes, medical conditions, label disputes and the like have left fans for the passed eight some odd years in the dark as to when we’ll finally receive new sounds from the Long Island virtuosos, the mysteries and anticipation behind their third album being akin to the fifteen some odd year wait of Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy (not even exaggerating). Though known to assemble occasionally for a small cluster of shows here and there, the boys of Glassjaw have basically been on something of an off and on hiatus since 2004. As of January 1st, 2011 however, that wait (for the most part) is over.
Initially released as five individual 7” vinyl releases before being re-distributed as an EP, Our Color Green [The Singles] is an eruption of musical goodness set in five waves. From the arpeggio heavy track “All Good Junkies Go To Heaven”, to the remolded renditions of “Natural Born Farmer” and “The Star Above My Bed” now named simply “Stars”, OCG is an enticing display of what we have to look forward to in their upcoming full-length album, as of right now titled Coloring Book.
Collectively the EP showcases perhaps Glassjaw at their rhythmic pinnacle. Lang’s paced style of drumming seems to force the band to sacrifice speed for precision, while Carrero’s brand of bass playing allows for a more solid backbone for Beck to strum both rhythmically and independently. Palumbo’s vocals have maintained their roughly emblazoned, at times frantic fervor, with the added benefit now of him being able switch easily between his guttural screaming and distinct clean breed of singing. While they’ve managed to add even more miscellaneous musical styles to their arsenal -making them even harder to define in terms of genre – ending track “You Think You’re John Lennon” displays that they haven’t lost that chaotic flare that was so heavily infused with the sound of EYEWTKAS, the first album that garnered them such a strong following. Our Color Green [The Singles] is a must have for any proclaimed Glassjaw fan new and old, though this writer would greatly recommend newer fans going back to the beginning and taking a listen to the first two albums beforehand to get a firmer grasp on what makes Glassjaw such a unique and amazing band. While we’re stuck in possible limbo waiting for the as of yet 2011 release of Coloring Book, we the fans can at least keep our hungry ears somewhat satiated in the meantime with the shades of OCG, which is available now for album download.