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Friday Tunes: Glassjaw ‘Worship and Tribute’

June 21, 2013

Following on from the last edition of Friday Tunes, I’m sticking with the early 00s for this week’s pick. Now I know I might be giving off the impression that I’m sitting in Urban Industry HQ with my fingers in my ears, refusing to acknowledge any music produced after 2002, but that is not the case. I just want to use this column as a chance to shine a light on certain albums that either mean a lot to me, or that are currently exciting me.

2002 was a good year to be in to rock music. In the UK you had bands like Hundred Reasons, Hell Is For Heroes and Reuben all making moves in the genre that was lumbered with the title ‘post-hardcore’, while on the other side of the Atlantic you had bands like Glassjaw, Thursday and Finch holding it down too. Glassjaw’s ‘Worship and Tribute’ was released in July 2002. It was the second full-length LP from the band, and their first on a major label (Warner) after their less than amicable split with Roadrunner Records. It’s still an ambitious album by today’s standards in that it incorporates a much broader sonic palette than their first LP, and indeed the output of many of their peers at the time. Singer Daryl Palumbo’s vocal range stretches from throat-shredding screaming to almost Elvis Costello-influenced crooning while the effects-laden guitar work of Justin Beck really helps carve this album out as a standalone classic of the genre. The two founding members would eventually dismiss the rest of the lineup from this era and 11 years on we’re still waiting for a follow-up album. Bastards.

I loved this album growing up in that it sounded completely different to a lot of the other bands kicking around at the time. I still go back to it from time to time, and it was the much-hyped artwork for Kanye West’s new album that had me dusting me my copy again recently. It still sounds remarkably fresh today, and looking back now I think subconciously it could've been my introduction to streetwear (Palumbo's wardrobe around the time reveals a lot of Bape, Stussy and Nike). The cover for ‘Worship and Tribute’ is worth praising as well, and I remember getting my hands on the CD and working through the different elements and layers that made up the mini vinyl player. Better than a Yeezy blank cover for sure.

By SeanM