Title: Our Colour Green
Released: 1st January 2011
Producer: Jonathan Florencio
Since their first official release in 1997 Glassjaw have amassed something of a cult following, which is pretty impressive considering that they have only released an EP and 2 albums since that time. The debut album ‘Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence’ had a huge role in shaping my musical tastes – it took heavy music with aggressive vocals and blended it with incredible melody that was delivered in such an emotional way that it hooked me in. It’s a style that ‘post-hardcore’ became synonymous with and although Glassjaw were certainly not the first band to do this, they were one of the bands responsible for taking this genre to a wider audience, along with the likes of Thursday and Thrice. ‘Our Colour Green’ is the band’s first release since their second album ‘Worship and Tribute’ in 2002.
Glassjaw intermittently released five singles throughout 2010 on vinyl and Our Colour Green is a compilation of those singles, made available to non-vinyl listeners. Unsurprisingly for a band that hasn’t released any material for almost 10 years, the sound of these songs is very different to its predecessors. The Glassjaw of old was laced with screamed vocals over driving, power chord rhythms, segregated by beautifully melodic choruses. This EP has very little in the way of aggression, instead opting for a more groove-orientated, ambient style, except for final track ‘You Think You’re (John Fucking Lennon)’, which is much more reminiscent of the debut album.
One strikingly obvious distinction is the production, which is extremely raw, almost low-fi sounding, and is reminiscent of ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’, the debut EP released in 1997. The drumming is impressive technically and has been produced in a way that sounds like a £200 practice kit, which surprisingly works very well when mixed with the loosely played guitar parts and sweeping bass lines. This stripped down production works extremely well with the ambient sound of the songs and lends a hypnotic, ethereal quality to them.
It took a good few listens to get used to this EP. I certainly wasn’t expecting to hear Glassjaw from the early 2000s, but I wasn’t really expecting this either. The music may be different, but after you’ve adjusted to the production, you start to feel Beck’s groove and of course Daryl’s incredible vocals are still prevalent and always interesting. Naysayers have questioned the relevance of Glassjaw releasing more material, thinking that the band’s days are long gone. I didn’t know to expect from this EP and that’s exactly why Glassjaw can still be relevant, almost 10 years since their last release. They acted as a catalyst for ‘post-hardcore’ back in their younger days and as a result, a whole host of Glassjaw clones surfaced. The music scene that they were part of has now become stale and predictable, but when you put a group of musicians as talented as this in a room together, you can’t help but get excited by what might come out the other side. There are too few bands around today that carry that kind of stigma.