MUSIC MONDAYS: Glassjaw + The Used
PHOTOGRAPHED by STEPHANIE TACY
REVIEW WRITTEN BY ASHLYNN CAMPBELL
Episode 008: Glassjaw + The Used
All Saturday nights are pretty great by default but this past Saturday, November 18, was especially awesome because two bands that have been huge parts of my adolescence came to rock my hometown. Glassjaw and The Used played at House of Blues in Houston while on tour promoting The Used’s 7th studio album “The Canyon” which was recently released on October 27th. The tour is also successfully building morale towards Glassjaw’s upcoming album said to be released in December of this year.
The first time we heard about a new album from Glassjaw was in 2015 when they released a song called "New White Extremity” and since then have dropped several other teasers which can all be found on their official youtube channel. Surely all the fans were ecstatic to hear them play most of these fresh tracks at the show because it’s been a long 15 years since the band’s last full album release way back in 2002 titled “Worship and Tribute”. Singer Daryl Palumbo has previously mentioned in interviews that his best work comes after a long while of being “stockpiled” and I’d say they’ve mastered that method considering their origin was in 1993. If you aren’t familiar with this group, they are best described as a post- hardcore band with sounds similar to that of The Fall of Troy, Sparta, and At the Drive-In but with several nu metal influences (Nu metal is a form of alternative metal that combines elements of heavy metal music with elements of other music genres such as hip hop, alternative rock, funk or grunge). From what we’ve been able to listen to of the new stuff, I would say that the sound is much less comprehensive than we’re used to. If you already thought that they had a sporadic feel, just wait til you hear this. I wish I could give you a download link but it’s not out yet so you’ll just have to check their site in December...But we’ve waited this long right?
As for their live performance, they came in strong with “((You think you’re) John Fucking Lennon)” and also included beloved classics such as “Tip your bartender” and “Ape Dos Mil” which lit up the faces and blew out the vocal chords of every able bodied person in the room. It was especially inspiring to see Palumbo darting around stage with seemingly no trouble at all considering his infamous battle with Crohn's Disease which at one point even led to a full UK tour being cancelled. You would never guess that he’s taken a sick day in his life based on the performance he gave though and I must not have been the only one feeling that inspired that night because at one point I noticed a 60ish year old woman dressed in formal attire sitting alone in the VIP area and headbanging. I couldn’t resist asking her who she was there to see and with a giant grin, she explained that she had just left a restaurant nearby, heard the music radiating from the venue and she just had to see what it was. She stayed there for the entirety of the show and proved that you don’t have to be young to have a killer time at a metal show and did it while wearing a ball gown. Legendary.
Next to come on stage were The Used, AKA every emo kid circa 2007’s wet dream… Including mine. I must admit that it was incredibly interesting to people-watch (you know it’s your guilty pleasure too) at this show and try to imagine what kind of scene queen/boy everyone had been back in the day. The Used kicked off their set with two of their most successful songs, “Take it away” and “The bird and the worm”. The rest of the set contained an even mix of hits from all your favorite albums, no matter your pick, every caving was satiated. Although, I was a little surprised that they only played 3 songs from “The Canyon”, the album that this tour is dedicated to but perhaps it was a good move because they only played 11 songs and leaving more new songs out meant the ability to please the crowd with more classics. If you haven’t heard their newest material, it’s definitely worth a listen but don’t jump into it expecting them to sound the way they did on “In love and death” because that’s just not going to happen. Listen to it as if they’re a new band that reminds you of The Used. Today the cult favorites have a much more laid down, vulnerable sound. A sound that just makes you feel. It’s a different kind of good than you’d expect from them but the familiarity is thankfully still present as well as a variation of a few bolder tracks. The whole album is quite a surprise, really. You’ll find an acoustic ballad, a catchy pop song (Yes you read that right- a pop song, and it’s the standout on the album), defiant power chord- heavy stompers, melodic hardcore entries, and of course raw and intense jam sessions. Sure, it’s not as entirely hard-core as it once was but there are many contributing factors to that as well, such as age and maturity. With that comes life experience, loss, family and sobriety, all of which is reflected in the album in the most sincere way. Frontman Bert McCracken even took the time between songs to give us a welcome glimpse into his personal life and dedicated his current happiness to his decision to get sober. There are several very integral parts of McCracken’s life that he touches on in this roller coaster of a record so I encourage you to take the ride even for that insight alone. As for the rest of the show, it honestly went down exactly how you’d dream it would. Every person sang every word and left with a full heart.
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ABOUT ASHLYNN CAMPBELL
Ash Campbell is a staff writer and project manager for Texas Inked while simultaneously attending college for graphic design. She has interviewed such artists as Eagles of Death Metal, Bishop Briggs, Mod Sun, DREAMERS and many more!
ABOUT STEPHANIE TACY
Stephanie is an Austin-based photographer whose work focuses in music, sports, street art, and photojournalism. Her work has been featured in The Daily Texan, Ellis Music Magazine, and KUT/KUTX!