Review Summary: “And again you’ll find a miracle in inches…I know you will”
It seems that 2011 is THE year to be a Glassjaw fan. After 8 years of beating around the proverbial bush, possible legal troubles, Daryl’s medical conditions, and a dizzying array of strange marketing schemes it seems we finally have new Glassjaw material in our hands. Of course all of this waiting and incessant bickering on the part of their fan-base would all be for nothing if the new material didn’t absolutely slay, and make no mistakes, it does.
Coloring book represents a complete and total transformation of Glassjaw’s post-hardcore aesthetic. Granted, the band has always been a step ahead of its peers with regards to experimentation, showcasing great strides in creativity from debut Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence to their second LP Worship and Tribute, but Coloring Book is a different beast entirely. By abandoning all of the trappings of any specific genre identity, Glassjaw have reached a pinnacle in their long career, and have managed to create a set of songs that deviate sonically from anything else on the market. This EP is classic not because it evokes tremendous emotion or nostalgia for Glassjaw’s back catalog (it actually has quite the opposite effect), but because it manages to be so unique, so triumphant, and so confident with its inherent experimentation that it has left all other competitors in the dust…I’m looking at you Letlive.
From the opening drum kicks and brooding drone of Black Nurse to the closing croon of Daytona White, Coloring Book lets its listeners know why 8 years was worth the wait. The band seems so utterly flawless in its execution and so confident in its new direction that it’s impossible not to nod your head along. Durijah’s drumming is impeccable, Manny’s bass grooves seem inhuman, and Beck’s guitar tones and unabashed use of synths are astonishing. “Vanilla Poltergeist Snake” seems the best showcase of everyone’s talents consisting of an irresistibly catchy bass line, eerie synths, and Daryl’s new love for vocal harmonies with himself. However, each track brings something new to the table whether it be the latin-esque guitar line in the bridge of Gold, the methodical guitar distortion of Miracles in Inches, or the shocking jam of Daytona White; Glassjaw prove that coloring book will undoubtedly be the most unique, if not the best, set of songs from 2011. So it seems safe to say that Glassjaw have once again found a Miracle in inches, or rather a classic in a six song EP. Here’s to hoping for a full length…it’s never been more tangible.