Review Summary: A surprising and often overlooked feat.
While the popularity of Christian indie rock bands continues to mount from over these past few years, there is (at least) one group that seems to have gotten overlooked. Through all that hullabaloo, Edison Glass rode just below the surface trying to mark their impression. I'm sure the concept of an indie rock band formatting songs with the help from divine intervention may be tired by now, but with hooks choking out of every song while bantering with edgier influences, they manage to find a sound all their own while also throwing a minor switchup into the batch of Christian groups. Still on the underside of recognition, their fourth album A Burn Or A Shiver
remains to be an advantageous and inspirative breakthrough for a band worth keeping an eye on.
Edison Glass’ general sound is not a foreign one in any sense. There lies within recognizably borrowed elements from fellow acts whether it be the shrilling background falsettos that can be traced back to Copeland, or the energetic poignancy exposed in the lyrics, related closely to Anberlin. Yet, they branch off just enough to have a distinguished sound by adding genres that have room for more technicality (they even throw in an occasional progressive riff). Through sing-along choruses following math-pop verses, even Silverberg's faint voice can hook you and steal you away from the jumpy beats. Prompting the math rock takeoff, the crashing drums and braided guitars introduce you to Edison Glass' lively and catchy ways in "My Fair One". Joshua Silverberg's voice is a nice compliment to the urgent sound being calm and collective but the background vocals give in having a more dramatic effect carrying over to the semi-peaceful chorus.
James Usher takes the more demanding route in his guitar playing by handling meandering guitar riffs over places where he could've easily slacked if he wanted, for instance over the snare drum flams in the intro of "Forever". The song cycles through a variety of styles from punky pre-verses and ska-like verses, but the chorus might be the spot that needs getting used to. Joshua Silverberg's frail voice can appear too flimsy for a listener that isn't as acquainted to this sort of style as others. Usher has the vital ability to entice you with different cries of his guitar lines. One moment, he can sound crooked spinning around in knotted patterns, and others he can literally glow. While the silvery blinks are revolved around in the finely built "Starlight", the transition is demonstrated mostly in the compelling glitz of a personal favorite, "In Such A State". The vocal lines double-team you while being threaded over signaling guitars which later turns into a colorful sparkle.
The melodies found on the album are easily consumed and flavorful for the most part. The members stay tight with each other but also have sufficient space to make things interesting. "The River" steadies itself leisurely, giving plenty of leeway for drummer Joe Morin to exercise his accuracy in more complex rhythm segments. This sort of feel isn't too far away from the one bands such as Minus the Bear have justified.
Joshua's voice is pretty dependable when harmoniously quivering, but as you will find every so often throughout the album, it will become almost too
screechy when trying to kick up the drama. All is forgiven come the album's swan song, "When All We Have Is Taken". Joshua proves his skilled set of pipes by giving an emotive performance in the same wave of Usher's final guitar solo.
A Burn Or A Shiver
is one great breakout album from a doubtlessly talented band. It sums up Edison Glass' motivational outlets in both the poetic realm and the musical realm. A bit edgier than indie pop but a bit friendlier than normal math rock, the band simultaneously cements their sound and their most beneficial album to date. For skeptics and atheists alike, don't let the Christian label put you off - though the lyrical theme is obviously binded in religious ropes, it comes open to anyone in a suggestive manner.