- Year 2017
- Genre Post Hardcore
- Country USA
- Label Century Media
- Rating Solid
The Pitch: Post-hardcore legend Glassjaw are at it again. 15 years after their seminal full length, Worship and Tribute, and 6 years since their comeback EP, The Coloring Book, this New York crew delivers up a brand new LP to close out 2017.
What I Like: Glassjaw‘s sound has a timeliess quality, and with Material Control, it truly feels as if I’m stepping right back into 2002 when bands like Deftones were still the darlings of the metal mainstream and metalcore was truly taking off. Unlike many of their peers to release albums in the past year or two, these guys bring the passion and style that they have always been known for. Furthermore, they continue to dabble in some of the more experimental aspect of The Coloring Book, again without losing that trademark Glassjaw flavor.
The collection of tracks here are eclectic, yet cohesive; running the gamut from heavy “Cosmopolitan Bloodloss” throwbacks (“New White Extremity”) to softer fair like the spacy, jazzy “Strange Hours.” All of the band members are in top form with their performances from the rocking guitar hooks and driving basslines to the liveliy drumming and, of course, Daryl Palumbo’s instantly recognizeable alternative crooning. I have heard some complain about the production on this album, but I think that it perfectly captures the raw qualities of their previous material and the prevailing approach of the band’s heyday. It’s just one more element that takes me back to my glory days.
Critiques: I feel like this is an album that is going to take a few more listens, but as of the time of this writing I would rank Material Control a little below The Coloring Book. Something about that EP was just so instantly gratifying. Every track was top tier and sucked me in from the very beginning. This one is more of a mixed bag, with many of the tracks especially in the second half falling short of my expectations. Sometimes I can’t even tell when one of these songs ends and the next begins.
The Verdict: Material Control isn’t a flawless album, but it is among the best comebacks I have heard to date and greatly exceeds current material from bands still around from this era. Glassjaw continue to prove that their legendary status is warranted, and that old dogs can learn new tricks along the way. Sometimes a 15 year gap is better than pumping out an album every year. Quality trumps quantity every time. Stream and purchase at all of the usual outlets.
Flight’s Fav’s: New White Extremity, Bastille Day, Shira