Review Summary: New York Hardcore at its finest from Glassjaws major label debut. Paved the way for many contemporary pop-punk acts.
Glassjaw are a very important band concerning todays musical climate. All those ‘Emo’ bands you hear gaining massive success on the radio (Lostprophets, Finch, My Chemical Romance), owe much of their success to Glassjaws first album and this one, Worship and Tribute
. The bands influence over these bands is clear, even as far as Ian Watkins of Lostprophets fame imitating Palumbos voice.
Glassjaw are clearly an influential band, and they are also not afraid to show their influences. Palumbos voice and hyperactive style of singing can be compared to that of Mike Pattons. There are also numerous references to Palumbos influences, including Mr Bungle ( from the song Pink Roses “I wanna drench you, stab you”, similar to a line in a Mr Bungle Song), Tori Amos (From Cavalcade “No, Dutch”, which is also spoken by Amos in the song Not The Red Baron) and Frank Zappa (Also from Cavalcade “My life is such a ball, I run the world from city hall”). There are also references to some punk bands such as New Bomb Turks (Cryin’ Into the Beer Of A Drunk Man) and even some old folk songs. The record is fairly long for a hardcore record, clocking in at 47:45 (the album was originally supposed to be longer before the song Convectuoso was cut after legal disputes with Roadrunner Records).
This album kicks off with the frenzied Tip Your Bartender
. It starts with a few distorted strums, and then literally explodes with Palumbo screaming and a wall of noise behind him. The lyrics seem to be about being straight edge (This is a war, sober up). There are also a lot of effects in this song, which are extremely potent throughout the album. It is a fairly simple song, but a perfect way to start of the album
The static and feedback from the last song lead straight into Mu Empire
. It starts with a 5/4 time drum beat, and then we get an awesome riff from Beck and Weinstock. The verse is a bit more low key, and has some nice bass fills in it. The pre-chorus then returns to the intro riff and then there is the chorus, which is incredibly catchy. There is a nice little high pitched riff within the bridge and then the song ends with the intro riff and Palumbo screaming. This is a good song, but I don’t feel it is up there with the rest of them.
Cosmopolitan Blood Loss
is up next, and it is a great song. It gets straight into it, and doesn’t relent throughout the song. The chorus is extremely catchy and the song has fairly simple guitar work, with a chugging main riff and Beck doing some picking over it. This was the first single from the album, and probably the most accessible Glassjaw song.
Ape Dos Mil
was the second single from the album, and held by many as Glassjaws best song. It is a fairly sombre song, giving a rather dark feel to it. The verse has muted guitars and a second playing simple single picked notes over the top. The chorus is loud and abrasive, grabbing the listeners attention, there are also some more nice fills from the second guitar. Palumbos lyrics are difficult to decipher, and are probably quite personal to him. His voice is also incredible in this song, sounding very passionate and singing like he means it. A very good song, and one of the best from the album.
is next, and brings a sudden change of mood. It starts similar to Pink Roses and The Graveyard
an old song by Glassjaw appearing on the Kiss Kiss Bang Bang EP. This song is all about Palumbo, demonstrating his vocal dexterity. He goes from loud yelps and screams, to long drawn out notes. The guitars are again drenched in effects, adding to the chaotic feel of the song. The rhythm section of the band, again put in a solid performance. Overall a good song, but doesn’t really stand out despite its unique feel.
Must’ve Run All Day
follows, and slows things down a bit. Very sparse instruments in this song, with light guitar work and low key drumming. The bass is also very simple drawn out notes. It is a very emotive performance from Palumbo, with a subdued vocal performance from him. The song ends with a powerful outro with strange effects on the instruments and on Palumbos voice. This is another good song, though is a bit drawn out.
literally detonates within your speakers. This is probably the heaviest song on the album, and the most challenging to get into. The guitars are all over the place as is Palumbos voice (in a good way). The lyrics are quite violent, describing weapons and Cities of Molotov’s. The noises coming out of the guitars are like nothing I’ve ever heard, and yet it works. It is held together well by the rhythm section, which is the only thing stopping the song descending into chaos. This is certainly an experimental song, and can be a bit to much for a casual listener.
A short skit involving a man playing violin leads straight into Radio Cambodia
. This is the most punk influenced song on the album, with power chords being played and mostly simple rhythm. There is also no screaming throughout the song. I find this song to be rather dull. Though it is a good song, it is skippable.
The Gillette Cavalcade Of Sports
is the next track, and it is a true epic of a song. This is one of the catchiest songs on the album and contains some brilliant lyrics and a great vocal performance. His race commentator bridge is absolutely brilliant, with some great bass work behind it. After the bridge the song explodes, with Palumbo screaming the lyrics over screeches of guitar. The song then winds down with an Palumbo saying “Home is where the heart is, on the bus”, this is a reference to the pressures of touring and him never being able to see his family. This is easily one of the best songs on the album, and a great way to introduce someone to the band, especially with the initial novelty of the commentary bridge.
Trailer Park Jesus
is an interesting song. It is similar to Must’ve Run All Day
in terms of structure, and contains some interesting instrumentation, with bongos (?) in the background of the verses. The lyrics are fantastic, and have been consistently throughout the album. The chorus is again catchy, while the verses are more subdued. This is a great song to just relax and listen to, its not particularly difficult to listen to, like other songs on this album.
Two Tabs Of Mescaline
is the final song on the album, and another great one. Starts with some nice guitar work and a quiet verse, with some strange lyrics (KQED it’s a tune that equals you). The chorus demonstrates Palumbos range extremely well, with him yelling “In”, and then ranting (Worship, Tribute, crumbling, ripping and failing). The song ends with Palumbo screaming “Sailor Scent” over a drum beat, which is surprisingly one of the most intense moments on the album, despite its lack of instrumentation. A brilliant song and a good way to end a great album.
Overall, this album is truly a hardcore classic, I believe this could even be counted along with Lateralus
and White Pony
as great American rock records of recent years. It surprises me that this album does not garner the success of these two records. For me, this is one of the best albums since the turn of the century, and a lot better the Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence
Tip Your Bartender
Cosmopolitan Blood loss
Ape Dos Mil
Two Tabs Of Mescaline