Glassjaw – Our Color Green EP
Record Label: a major label
Release Date: January 1, 2011
Eight years. That's how long it has been since we've heard any new studio material from Long Island's post-hardcore veterans Glassjaw. In 2002, the band released one of the best albums of the decade, Worship and Tribute. It's something guitarist Justin Beck has explained as getting as close to combining artists he loves the likes of Stevie Wonder and Bad Brains. In that fruition, the band made one of the heaviest, most thought-provoking records alongside The Shape of Punk to Come and Relationship of Command. It was a hardcore gumbo no one was prepared for, but once consumed, everyone then wanted more. Then, one day, things just stopped. The band wasn't on hiatus. They weren't broken up. They just stopped releasing music. They talked about releasing music. They played some new songs over the years. They did one-off shows and mini-tours. We, as fans, weren't satisfied.
Then in August of this past year, the band released a limited edition 7" of "All Good Junkies Go to Heaven" through MerchDirect, Beck's business. The track was showcased while on tour "down under," earlier in the year, and it was a sign that new things were hopefully coming in the future. After that August release, month by month, at specific times and one-off shows in New York under the moniker of "special guests," more tunes were released on wax. It became a frenzy, as MerchDirect crashed upon the release of "Stars," as well as creating havoc and price gouging on eBay. Along with the DOGMA session videos Beck had been working on, it looked like Glassjaw were back in business. While we weren't rewarded with a full-length on 1/11/11 this year (many had hoped because of the pattern of releases leading up to GJ93), we finally have that EP we've been told about by some Chauncey dude.
With all the hype, do the Jaw live up to it? Does this shit actually slay? You must not have heard "Stars," a remake of "Star Above My Bed," as it bashes a sense of urgency and intensity into the back of your skull. When the whole track breaks down and Daryl Palumbo loses it in a blood curdling rant, your eyes immediately light up. "Natural Born Farmer" showcases a heavy rhythmic section that flows in a melodic fashion. That same style can be noted on "All Good Junkies Go to Heaven," where the overall feel is only heightened when Palumbo cries out "When you water the old man!" the second time around. Nothing on the EP displays the band's staying power, compositional bite or grandeur allusion (Deftones, Dillinger Escape Plan) better than "Jesus Glue." There are many reference points to pull out of this one, but it is all Glassjaw in the end. The simplicity and hit of the mid-track breakdown is ferocious and stacks evenly with the Latin groove and vocal shrill thereafter. This is the Glassjaw we've been (im)patiently waiting for, and it absolutely delivered.
Our Color Green is collection of songs the band have been working on for the past few years. More so, it's five smart tracks that deliver on the hype. Our fingers will be tightly crossed for an upcoming LP to be dropped later this year. Whatever force is holding that back, you better not be outed, because these kids are ready to go viking on your ass for the second half of that promise we've been reading/hearing about for the past few years. This is the music we'll be burning your corporate office down to in order to obtain it.