Glass and Ashes
Glass and Ashes


4.5
superb

Review

by Dan Smith USER (74 Reviews)
August 25th, 2008 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A vicious punk'n'roll onslaught with some rather unexpected, but not unpleasant influences.

On the strength of the one song I heard before purchasing Glass and Ashes' recent self-titled opus, I was expecting a chaotic punk'n'roll affair; loud and raucous guitar-buggery that would leap out of the speakers, beat me over the head for half an hour and leave me to continue in my day in a daze. It's fair to say that my senses were suitably battered, but not exactly in the way I was expecting - y'see Glass and Ashes are an intriguing beast; their sound is rooted in the same kind of wild-eyed punk'n'roll that The Bronx and Hot Snakes do/did so well, but rather than up the chaos factor with sheer velocity (see Zeke) or a cocksure swagger and murderous intent (a la The Bronx, again), they take influence from two rather unlikely sources - math-rock and post-metal.

The math-rock influence manifests itself in the form of guitarists Josh Hayes and Jesse Jenny constantly going off on tangents from each other, while bassist Michael Carter does his own thing altogether, and Michael Gleeson alternates between straight-ahead drum-pounding and off-beat rhythms, via some impressive fills, at the drop of a hat. If you need proof, look no further than "We Will Hang for This," which comes off like a ridiculously heavy version of Drive Like Jehu, before segueing into a somewhat anthemic ending complete with a huge wall of screamed gang backing vocals. The post-metal influences are somewhat more subtle, with the band taking the kind of ominous chord progressions and melodies used by the likes of Isis and Cult of Luna to create spooky atmosphere, and using them within the context of a punk rock song, a good example being the clean(ish) guitar melodies in the more subdued parts of "Alpha State" and the intro to "Dead Bodies Skyscrapers High." Hell, the two minute instrumental "Exit Wound" genuinely wouldn't sound at all out of place on the aforementioned Scandinavian post-metallers' latest album.

This heady brew of styles would be nothing without good songwriting, but this is something Glass and Ashes have in spades, constantly varying tempos and using unconventional song structures in such a way that allows them to stretch songs well beyond the five minute mark without ever losing intensity or the listener's interest. Most bands would probably avoid placing two instrumental interludes ("North Flight" and "Exit Wound") one after the other, for fear of derailing the album's momentum, but in this case such sequencing works perfectly, providing a few calm moments in which to catch your breath before the onslaught of the final three tracks.

So far, I've painted Glass and Ashes as an incredibly noisy and caustic album, and while it's fair to say that this is somewhat true, there is in fact a huge melodic streak right through every track . There are a few instances of melodic vocals (in the aforementioned "Dead Bodies..." for example), but even in the more chaotic parts the combination of the varied instrumental elements, along with Hayes and Carter's raw-throated vocals (let's just say the band was probably named after their staple diet...), seem to at least vaguely imply a sense of melody, if that makes sense. When the the guitars and vocals converge on a more explicit melody, the contrast makes it seem even more tuneful than it really is. It's a strange effect to try and describe, but Glass and Ashes seem to have crafted a furious and abrasive album which somehow creates the illusion of melody throughout. It's an impressive feat, and one which provides the album with a strange but not unpleasant quality.

Incredibly, for what is only the band's second album, Glass and Ashes have made an intense, interesting, and varied album which should not only appeal to fans of punk rock, but also to anyone who appreciates aggressive and intricate music, regardless of genre.



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user ratings (8)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
spoon_of_grimbo
August 25th 2008


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've added the mp3 for the opening track "Seconds Before the Floor Drops Out" which is a highlight, but not one that shows very much of the other-genre influences I mentioned.

The whole album's streaming here for those who'd like to check it out:

http://www.punknews.org/bands/glassandashes

KieranTVogel
August 25th 2008


19 Comments


Sweet review. I'll check these guys out.

flamethisuser
August 25th 2008


395 Comments


definitely seems interesting, I'll look into it

ddrfreak62
August 26th 2008


106 Comments


it sounded okay from what ive heard,

CushMG15
August 26th 2008


1802 Comments


I listened to the Mp3 on this site and it struck me as decent. I think I'll have to hear some of the more influenced stuff to really make a judgement. Good Review tho, I look forward to hearing the other stuff.

spoon_of_grimbo
August 26th 2008


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks for the comments/votes guys. what's everyone think to the album then (if you've gotten round to checking it out yet)?This Message Edited On 10.05.08

spoon_of_grimbo
October 21st 2008


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this seems to have gotten better with every listen, so i've bumped it up to a 4.5.

however, i've heard these guys are pretty much dormant for the time being, possibly even broken up. which sucks ass...

Cesar
December 2nd 2008


2732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album was very good, but the math-rock influence in the songs prevented me from enjoying it more. I'm a strong fan of melody u see.

I have a friend who should love this though, will pass it on.

Phantom
December 2nd 2008


8930 Comments


Just read about this in your best of 2008 list and I'm getting it now. Will listen to it tomorrow and come back.

Cesar
December 2nd 2008


2732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

After further listens I can say this was better than what my first impression said, the second half of the album especially is quite killer.

spoon_of_grimbo
December 3rd 2008


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

cool to see more people checking it out, let me know what you guys think.

on a vaguely related note, i saw, out of the taxi window as i was departing for the airport after The Fest this year, that i'd been sat for a good twenty minutes only two tables away from Mike Carter (bass/vocals) outside a coffee shop, and hadn't noticed. that was a kick in the nuts. if i'd seen him before i'd gotten in the taxi, i'd have gone and asked him what's the deal with Glass and Ashes now (broken up? hiatus? wtf man!??!).

OneDeadCop112
December 17th 2008


57 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What a band!

I have this album, got it on day of release ;)

Wish i could have been at the Fest to get their live album though.

spoon_of_grimbo
December 17th 2008


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

live album?! what?! i was at the fest and heard nothing of this!

MikeGleeson
December 25th 2008


1 Comments


The FEST pressing that OneDeadCop mentioned isn't a live record... it was a special release that No Idea threw together. They didn't have enough time to get the real thing to us before last year's FEST, so they made limited edition "fest pressings". It's the exact same record, just different art.

As for the band, we're on an indefinite hiatus. Mike Carter and our old guitarist Dave play in the YOUNG LIVERS, and I've just started a new band with an old friend of mine. You can check it out here: www.myspace.com/lovebirdusa ...It's a far cry from G&A, but there are definite similarities.

I'm sure Glass and Ashes will play again, just don't know when. The FEST is always a possibility. Gainesville is like a second home to us.

Thanks for the sweet review.
Take care! -mike gleeson/glass and ashes
This Message Edited On 12.25.08

Cesar
December 25th 2008


2732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well that comment was pretty cool.

spoon_of_grimbo
February 20th 2009


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

how have i only just noticed that awesome comment!? thanks for clearing things up Mike, if you happen to read this!

also, i urge anyone reading this to check out lovebird at the myspace link in Mike's post. really good stuff, some of the guitarwork is reminiscent of G&A, and it's really sorta dreamy, poppy and atmospheric. good stuff!



Scoot
February 15th 2012


17754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is really good shit

JackSparrow
November 4th 2012


1686 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fucking great stuff right here

Scoot
November 4th 2012


17754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

jeez about fucking time someone noticed



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