Written by Nikolai Dineros

As 2023 comes to a close, GLASS, the silliest MAPEH rock band in town, kicks off 2024 with a new self-titled release chronicling the band’s 2-year-long songwriting journey from their 2021 EP release of the same – featuring three tracks from the album “Spice”, “Jones”, and “Buntot” – and a handful of new material, all loaded in a magazine of kinetic energy, dad jokes, millennial-passing shock value, and musical ammo.

GLASS’ creative box is a confluence of blues, math rock, and post-hardcore templates, oftentimes shifting styles at unexpected turns and in sync with the band’s penchant for odd tempos and intricate rhythmic structures. The opener track “Octopus” does not try to hide this at all; a delicate intro teases the listener of the band’s tendencies to go off-kilter before going R&B-like as the verse kicks in and capping off the song in full virtuoso mode. It’s not always we get to hear these different styles blend as well as GLASS does with their songs.

By the time you have finished “Octopus”, you will already have an idea of the kind of surprises GLASS has in store throughout the rest of the album, but in varying distributions of flair. For instance, “Obmerb” is a tad bit more conventional and Steely Dan-like than “Octopus” with a guitar solo more unassuming with less post-hardcore shenanigans.

Tracks like “Ops” and “Buntot” embrace the blues a bit more than the others, a characteristic the local scene needs more of nowadays as artists and fans across genres have increasingly deviated from the allure of a style that once dominated the mid-2010s flavor-of-the-month genres in favor of a more ethereal sound that shoegaze presents.

GLASS’ bubbly personality helps them in their compositions, and this playfulness complements the disjointedness of their tracks. But at times, it can also work to the detriment of the band. There’s a level of wit that the band employs in their songwriting that does not always land perfectly on the feet. There is this one song in the album, which I will not spoil to not ruin the experience for everyone coming into this record for the first time, that I would consider to be a perfectly acceptable song about a particular subject matter, but they kept running the same joke towards the end after it ran its course. Nothing too cringeworthy to pass on – just the kind of pure tito humor we all have a guilty pleasure for.

GLASS has a treasure trove of innovative ideas, and they are not afraid of trying them all out. Most of these ideas work, a negligible few don’t. But at the core of it all, this free-spirited energy and shamelessness are traits we all ought to have, and GLASS came at a perfect time to set a year on such an exciting note.


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