Album Reviews

Material Control
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 20:05
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- by Nate Hennon

In the past, I never had a lot of fanfare for Glassjaw. But with their third full-length album, "Material Content", being released 15 years after their last, I have to admit my interest was piqued.

Before "Material Content", my experience with Glassjaw was mostly through their side-project Head Automatica. Even though HA is more of a pop-centered scenester band, the production value on their two full-lengths allowed me to wrap my head around Glassjaw. I know this sounds a little confusing, but let me elaborate on what I mean. Because Glassjaw plays complex yet cathartic music, the production value on their albums needed to be pristine for me to be able to appreciate their talent. I did not hear this on their albums before "Material Content". The 15-year gap between albums allowed the unsophisticated ear and recording technology to catch-up to Glassjaw's musicality.

The heavy bass thumps and grinding guitar riffs on "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence" and "Worship and Tribute" are good and highlight Glassjaw's significance to the Post-Hardcore scene, but what they do on "Material Content" really shows their prowess. Daryl's voice is clean and clear on this album, which is good because I like his voice. The guitars are a little shallow for guitar-heavy songwriting, but the mix works for the whole album. There is a groove to their songs that is rare in this type of metal-esque punk rock. Other post-hardcore bands lean too much on the heavy, and they miss that piece of songwriting that makes a song listenable on those return visits.

On the downside, in several interviews, Glassjaw has said that "Material Content" was going to be delivered as a "Thank You Gift" to their loyal fan base. Which is probably the intended audience for this album, loyal fans. I do not foresee "Material Content" being Glassjaw's breakthrough album, but I think it will scratch that itch for their diehard fans.


Track listing:

  1. new white extremity
  2. shira
  3. 11 days
  4. golgotha
  5. pretty hell
  6. bastille day
  7. pompeii
  8. bibleland
  9. closer
  10. my conscience weighs a ton
  11. material control
  12. cut and run