Glassjaw
Material Control


4.5
superb

Review

by Rowan5215 STAFF
December 1st, 2017 | 740 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Please don't let me down.

The words which spring to mind to describe Material Control circle around a common theme: lean, sinewy, jagged, brutal. My way of phrasing would be that it doesn't take its hand off the throttle for a second; the album gets your throat in a chokehold early on, then holds you out the car window at high speed. Only at two points do proceedings slow down, and that's to fully unearth the menace rather than give us a breather. "strange hours" is the closest thing to a Coloring Book track here with its looping synthesised bassline, but the anticlimax end imposes a darker atmosphere; while the dubby title track is built around a moment of meta-humour so good, I'm still wondering if it's a loving throwback or a 'fuck you'. In either case, the Glassjaw of 2017 are clearly unconcerned with making music for anyone except their younger, fiercer, New York City hardcore-loving selves.

Material Control opens up a raw vein of the Glassjaw entity, and inside we see a white-hot nerve cluster fuelled by the memories of jaded summers. The album is pretty much unique – the closest analogue is the stripped-back garage sound of Our Color Green (The Singles), as the title track throws a winking acknowledgement to, but even the heaviest of those songs revolved around skyscraper hooks that landed somewhere within the realm of modern post-hardcore. Not Material Control. The grimy guitar and bass dominate the mix, Daryl often pushed far into the background, as "golgotha" and "pompeii" instead venture into the territory of ugly, lumbering noise rock. It's not until "closer" that a truly awesome Daryl hook makes an appearance, because that's not where the interest of this album lays. It's in the moments of sublime beauty that don't so much contrast with the pummeling rage as they are formed by it: the harmony which soars over the chorus of "my conscience weighs a ton" like sun above a cloudburst, "new white extremity" and its heartfelt cry for a connection, the wailing tremolo guitar "bibleland 6" deploys like heavy artillery.

One more word which will surely spring up around Material Control will be underwhelming. That's not just because time and tide have raised Glassjaw to a pantheon nigh impossible to live up to; it's the result of an album tailor-made to be confusing and frequently frustrating. That's not really a judgement, but a deliberate flaw can still be a glaring one, and the whiplash endings of "strange hours" and "cut and run" aren't good enough to compensate for choking out good songs in their prime. But again, Material Control doesn't cater to anything except the next rush of adrenaline, the next high; it thrives on the left turn, the bait-and-switch, that wonderful tingling moment when your blood is up and you wonder "what the fuck am I listening to"" with teeth bared. It's there in the brutally short runtime, the songs sequenced to bleed into one another, the lack of easy hooks as a checkpoint. Let all that serve to reassure any doubts, then – this is a Glassjaw album, through and through.



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user ratings (389)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
TheSupernatural (4.5)
Listen, Soak It In, Feel That Shocking Feeling...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2017


39515 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

same

Digging: Glassjaw - Material Control

onionbubs
December 1st 2017


7019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

same

Digging: Jimmy Eat World - Invented

DinosaurJones
December 1st 2017


6735 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

agreed

Digging: Swarms - Black Chapel Sun

Drubbi
December 1st 2017


209 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

haven't even listened to this yet

Digging: Glassjaw - Material Control

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2017


39515 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

[2]

Evokaphile
December 1st 2017


6511 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

2017 has certainly been full of surprises. A new Glassjaw? At this point... Why the hell not? I'm in. Gonna jam this asap.

Digging: Less Art - Strangled Light

Demon of the Fall
December 1st 2017


3818 Comments


The early average for this is crazy high, might give it a go even though I initially failed to get into 'Silence'.

Digging: Dissection - The Somberlain

MarsKid
December 1st 2017


5661 Comments


I am pumped

Evokaphile
December 1st 2017


6511 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Glassjaw is a household circle jerk around here so Im not surprised. I bet 75% of those ratings havent even heard the album yet lol.

DinosaurJones
December 1st 2017


6735 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I've listened to it 4 times already today. About to take a break though and let it settle, then come back to it later.

Demon of the Fall
December 1st 2017


3818 Comments


I like jerking with you guys so will definitely try this, might kick-start something

DinosaurJones
December 1st 2017


6735 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Oh shit, gonna help me charge my JO crystal?

Evokaphile
December 1st 2017


6511 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

A lil reach around and a Glassjaw discog jam? Woo lets geeeeeet it.

TheSupernatural
December 1st 2017


1675 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Remember that feeling when you first heard Glassjaw and you were like "this is some really weird ass noise but I keep wanting more?"



This album is giving me that feeling all over again

Groundking
December 1st 2017


333 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is my introduction to the band, listened to it at least 10 times by now, HOLY FUCK does this shit go hard.

Very tempted to 5 it, but I've already given 3 out this year, and is it really as good as those three?? Or is it just because it's so fresh and amazing from the get go.

DinosaurJones
December 1st 2017


6735 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'll probably end up giving this a 5, but I don't want to jump the gun

Toondude10
December 1st 2017


11736 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's like they never left

Digging: Machine Head - The Blackening

bloc
December 1st 2017


45323 Comments


Never got into these guys much, but I'll check it

Digging: Flotsam and Jetsam - Doomsday for the Deceiver

coldheaven
December 1st 2017


517 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Xmas cuum early dis year uwu

Digging: Hundredth - Rare

Scoot
December 1st 2017


18778 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pretty awesome but i miss the scramz



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