GlassJAw, no stranger to frequent line up changes, is truly a diamond in the rough in the world of post-rock. GlassJAw are the masters of making sweet, sweet music out of the most painful, cacophonic sounds and turning them into some seriously interesting music. All through their career, GlassJAw’s production with Ross Robinson has been raw, stripped down and gritty. On their new EP, Coloring Book EP, GlassJAw return with a taste of their upcoming LP that is true to their style, but also unique to them and to the music world as a whole.
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence was a punishing aural blow of energy that made fans and critics alike ask what the hell they were listening to. The brutal force, even through slower ballad type songs, left fans wanting more and wonder weekly for the past decade if GlassJAw was going to continue ear-raping the world. Worship and Tribute saw a slight shift to more ambient and jazz type elements that brought in some new fans, but also alienated many devout members of their underground fan base. The band also released Our Color Green (The Singles) EP which faithfully kept true to their form of energy, power and confusion yet appropriate instrument arrangements. In come Coloring Book EP.
Make no mistake, from the first three seconds into the EP, you know exactly who this is. You probably also smile on the inside to see such an eclectic band back at it. This EP covers styles of frantic craziness from Everything… to slow down, ambient sounds of Worship and Tribute. This is unmistakeably GlassJAw. The heaviness has lost a bit of urgency, and has become a bit formulaic. The slowed-down side of GLassJAw is still true to the original. There is also a shift from the guitars playing off-beat, hard to understand hooks, to using straight distortion to push a sense of energy. While this is a step that devout fans may not want to hear, I see this EP as a warm up to their next full length album. There is nothing bad that can be said about the vocals. They sound like a person screaming from the bottom of a pit, looking for help and I do not care if they never deviate from that.
Coloring Book EP is a solid comeback for GlassJAw. The combination of ambient tones and frantic guitars are well mixed and still are welcome to my already abused ears. As a pregame warmup, this EP is great, but where it loses its edge is in its franticness. One can only hope that the LP will complete the assault.
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