Saturday, November 10, 2012

Glass Hammer - Perilous - The Review

Wow. Just played the new Glass Hammer album for the first time. Loud. In headphones. It’s called Perilous. Classic prog rock at its finest. 

Lofty mellotrons, growling organs, and classic Moogs, righteous guitars, bass that won’t quit, drums propelling things forward, vocals floating high above it all, harmonies aplenty. And you know, maybe a flute or recorder or something as well now and then, just for the heck of it.

This album is everything I love about Glass Hammer. Great music, well written and well played, brand new and yet completely familiar even though it’s my first listen. I guess all I really need to say is that they speak my language. Or maybe what’s closer to the truth is they speak the language I already hear.

The album’s an hour long, and all I could think when it ended was, “darn, it’s over.”

In some ways I feel lost when I try to write about them, try to describe them. They have that great prog rock sound. Yes, Gentle Giant, Utopia, all the classic prog bands from the ’70s and ’80s. But they also rock, and their music is informed by the 21st century as well. It’s the music I’d play and write if I played and wrote that way, if I hadn’t taken that turn towards Tangerine Dream and Synergy all those years ago. I suppose if I’d gotten the organ before I’d gotten my Minimoog things might have turned out differently, but I learned to play keyboards on the Moog rather than the Hammond. Suffered for it ever since! (Which I always say with a grin.)

13 songs, all tied together, maybe better described as 13 movements in one continuous piece of music. No bathroom breaks, so plan ahead. I guess if I had to describe it all I’d have to say simply that it’s heroic from start to finish. Just the way a great prog album ought to be. 

They’re threatening to tour this album. I sure hope they do. I’ll be there.

Or the band's own Perilous page.

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