w/Sparta, Hot Water Music & Dredge
8 N.W. Sixth
Who’s ready to get extreme? Glassjaw, that’s who! That’s right, along with Sparta, Hot Water Music and Dredge, Long Island’s favorite five-piece band is putting the “core” back in the Sno-core tour.
This tour makes absolutely no sense at all. Last year Sno-core had Incubus and Mr. Bungle, and this year it’s got a bunch of emo-core screamers? And there’s no way that there’s any kind of snowboarding going on. Right? Either way, it all sounds like some corporate executive’s brilliant idea to package up the concept of snowboarding and turn that into selling tickets to a music event, which in any event is just a bizarre idea. But I guess it’s working. Do you think there will be a Mountain Dew booth?
Speaking of Mountain Dew, for a band that badmouths the extreme soda on its Web site, Glassjaw seems to be just as caught up in the games of the corporate world. The opening page of the Web site offers prizes and rewards for people who “recruit” people to buy the CD. That doesn’t seem very hardcore or emo-core or punk rock or whatever. I have to “recruit” 25 people to buy your CD just to get your autographs? Wow, these guys are fighting the corporate system all right. All of my hard work will be paid off by the 30 seconds it will take for them to sign a poster. That’s hardcore! Better yet, Sno-core!
Technically, Glassjaw’s music is well made. Produced by Ross Robinson, the guy who did Vanilla Ice’s hardcore album (as well as Slipknot and Korn), Glassjaw’s second full-length album, Worship and Tribute, is full of the math-rock hardcore and ironic emo singing that the kids just can’t get enough of. However, it’s been done a thousand times before. Touring with a better version of themselves, Sparta, definitely will make for an awkward tour.
As far as recorded Glassjaw goes, the CD makes an attempt to please just about every member of its possible audience. It has hired that one emo singer who seems to be singing in about every emo band on the planet (Saves the Day, All-American Rejects, etc.), and he sure feels emotional. It’s not really one guy but, for god sakes, it sure sounds like it. But some songs are straight up math rock with a lot of emo-screaming. Still, the band tries its hands at some, dare I say, ballads, as on “Must’ve Run All Day.” Apparently these kids were Faith No More fans at one point in their lives due to the singer’s Pattonesque stylings and their attempts to be more than just a hardcore band.
However, the results come up forced and self-conscious. Glassjaw is much more effective when they are angry. I am assuming this will come through in their live performance. Either way it’s hard to be hardcore when you are on a corporate-sponsored event like the Sno-core tour and your album is on Warner Brothers. So don your dark-rimmed glasses, shell-toed Adidas and ironic afro, and scream along to your favorite creative song titles. Me? I still can’t decide between “Trailer Park Jesus” and “The Gillette Cavalcade of Sports.”