Review Summary: As of this time, Worship and Tribute is still terrific.3 of 4 thought this review was well written
Back in 2002, Glassjaw… ah, f*ck it. There are few post-hardcore albums that give me a hard on like this. But to clarify, I used to hate (still kind of do) Daryl Palumbo’s vocals. His singing initially feels like scraping a chalkboard, which is pretty f*cking unpleasant but with such musicianship behind, the man sounds adequate when making noisy, atmospheric sh*t.
Frankly, it doesn't matter if you ever listened to this band before. Each of their releases is considerably different one from another. I can care less about “Silence”, and even though their new material is pretty good, you would be so f*cking lame if you started with Coloring Book… nah, just being flippant. As I said, the music is incredible, sonically is as groovy as Machine Head would be, but they play a lot with different styles, is far more progressive than one could think of. Play this sh*t and you will be listening to At The Drive In, Fugazi and maybe even The Clash. The sound is muddy enough for my tastes and the instruments are crystal clear with great production.
Right from the start you can hear this. Tip Your Bartender rapes your ears with distorted guitars alternating the speakers, then, the vocals come in alongside cymbals to build an uneasy start. This hybrid, post-hardcore sound follows during the remaining two tracks. Mu Empire is groovier, the bass flows through the twelve bar blues to go off in an aggressive verse-chorus that ends in a softer/melodious chorus. This is the progression I’m talking about; it has a good flow, intricate and catchy as flu season. Cosmopolitan Bloodloss follows nicely, it maintains the heavy mood but this is far the most accessible track in here, with Radio Cambodia behind.
The fourth track, Ape Dos Mil is very clever and changes the pace of the album. The jazzy verses explored in Mu Empire are fully out in this song and gives yet another sense of direction. With nice afrobeat sensitivity, Trailer Park Jesus turns out to be another excellent percussion-oriented ballad that even if it doesn't top Ape Dos Mil, keeps the mood alive quite well.
The band goes heavier in Pink Roses and Stuck Pig. I’m still listening to the latter stuck, like a pig. It is a very intense track; the guitar licks in here sound like they’re having orgasms listening to Palumbo’s harsh vocals, which is very cool. Two Tabs of Mescaline is also very heavy, but with a different approach. The band goes progressive-mode in here and executes it perfectly. This song starts with a soft guitar riff that makes the listener smell Chinese vines, although, as the verse kicks in the darker tone settles in. Don’t be fooled by the spastic style and the length as it clearly is a sectional song, but the band manages incredible dynamics and the non-strophic production allows the song to have real live consistency.
And “Cavalcade”, oh dear… I was instantly keen when I heard this song. It is indeed a very melodic piece but damn is f*cking crazy. The interlude has a weird sport anchor impersonation by Daryl, and the bridge owns a snazzy bass line that leads through in a stylish manner. I feel like dancing when listening this sh*t. I can’t write much about the lyrics because this piece of crap doesn't have a lyric booklet. I have to put the CD in my laptop that doesn't have a CD-ROM player to access the interactive notes. And I’m feeling too f*cking old right now to “google” that sh*t. The packaging is pretty cool though, buy it.
It sucks that these smart-asses refuse to give their fans another full-length, but who really blames them? Post-hardcore bands have wet dreams to even sound remotely like this, and Billboard critics/Rolling Stone writers have their heads too deep in their asses to give this band any recognition. But anyway… as of this time, Worship and Tribute is still terrific.