Monday, September 10, 2012

Glass Hammer - Perilous

Glass Hammer—good ol’ American prog at its finest. They’ve been making albums for well nigh forever, but for some reason I only heard of them maybe 5 years ago, although I have to say I wish I'd found them earlier. If you don’t know them, they’re kind of a large bit of Yes with a healthy dose of Gentle Giant thrown in as well, not to mention their own selves in there too. Which to me is cool, because good new prog is not so easy to find these days, although perhaps we’re seeing somewhat of a resurgence lately. 

I always like Glass Hammer, and sometimes I totally love them. Some knock them as a ’70s Yes clone, and in some ways that has some validity. On the other hand though, with careful listening they shine through as their own thing. In a way Glass Hammer is what Yes might have been if they kept at the prog thing and didn’t take their detour into pop. I’m not saying this as well as I’d like to. I guess what I’m trying to say is that with one quick listen you might dismiss them as a Yes band, but if you did that you’d be doing yourself a disservice.

But may I make all that I just said a tad murkier by saying my favorite Glass Hammer song is their cover of South Side of the Sky? (If this were an email to a friend I’d have just put in a little smilie there.)

But to clarify, all kidding aside, if I didn’t know it was originally by "some other band" I would have been blown away their version of the song. But because I loved the song already, well that made it even better. Simply put, it’s better than the Yes version. It’s dark. It’s eerie. It’s both very quiet and it also totally rocks, while at the same time being somewhat on the funky side. The vocals are superb. The instrumentation is excellent. It’s different, but it’s the same song nonetheless, and in addition they could sure teach Yes a few things about dynamics and keeping the listener in glorious suspense. I guess in a nutshell all of that somewhat describes Glass Hammer. I could go on and on here. But I guess I’ll just say I’m a fan and leave it at that.

And it's not just that one song of course. They have tons of albums available, each one unique and interesting in its own right. It's always a treat to get a new one.

Which brings me to today. (Or maybe really to next month, but let’s ignore that for now.) They have a new album coming out next month, but they’ve just today released the video trailer/teaser/whatever above. The new album is called Perilous, and they’re calling it one song in 13 parts. If the trailer’s anything to go by it’s going to be an excellent album. 

In some ways I'm bummed that I can only talk about the band when I wish this could actually be an album review, but I guess I’ll have to wait a month just like everyone else. In the meantime I’ll just go throw on a few of their other albums and be quite happy, while at the same time hoping the murmurs I'm hearing about them doing an actual tour become reality.

Glass Hammer. They’re modern prog. 

You’re welcome.