Five Reasons We’re Thankful for Glassjaw

Seeing as it’s the season of giving, we’re ready to give thanks to the band that’s given us some of the greatest rock music in history over the last 24 years. The New York post-hardcore legends Glassjaw haven’t just released two of the best records of all time (with another due out at the beginning of next month), but they’ve also continued to put on mind-blowing live shows year after year.

We’re all thankful that Daryl Palumbo and company are going to be at the Glass House in Pomona tonight (right before Turkey Day), and here are just a handful of the reasons why.

5. Both Worship and Tribute and Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence are absolute classics.

If you ask a bunch of Glassjaw fans what their best work is, you almost definitely won’t get the same answer from many of them. Why? Because pretty much every song on their first two records (and even the following EPs) is excellent. The band’s pair of major releases before the upcoming Material Control could each be considered the best record of their time on their own, and they hold up as well as ever all these years later. Even the mild commercial success of tracks like “Ape Dos Mil” never saw the band stray from the powerful grit, lyrical complexity, and raw emotion that made fans fall in love with them in the first place.

4. As a quartet, they sound better than most bigger bands.

Typically, when a band loses a longstanding member or two, they lose some of their sound with them. But when Glassjaw switched their rhythm section for their 2015 return — over a decade after dropping down to a full-time quartet — they kept the full and flawless sound that made the group one of the best-sounding live acts of the ‘90s and 2000s. Whether live or recorded, the band’s beautifully complex and layered tracks have only gotten better over the last 24 years, and they may be the most complete sounding single-guitar four-piece since a little band called Led Zeppelin.

3. So many of their lyrics can be read plainly as angry poetry.

There are a lot of bands that write the kinds of lines we’d all like to use at the end of a spoiled relationship, but few penned more elegant verses and choruses than Glassjaw. The vast majority of the tracks Palumbo wrote can be experienced without the musical components as a post-hardcore book of poetry, and many others contain portions that could be world-class breakup lines, work insults, or otherwise visceral verbal attacks. The perfect balance of self-deprecation and relentless outward aggression packs every Glassjaw release to date with enough emotional variance to get a listener through virtually any experience, and there’s no reason to think that’ll stop next month.

2. Material Control didn’t take nearly as long as Chinese Democracy.

It’s been 15 years since Glassjaw released their most recent full-length, Worship and Tribute, and over 6 years since they last put out any new material (2011’s Coloring Book EP). Since making their triumphant return over two years ago, there’ve been rumblings throughout the band’s fan base and other musicians that a new album would be coming soon — but nothing had been made official until the recent announcement of the upcoming Material Control. Christmas will come a few weeks early for Glassjaw fans, as we’ll all finally get to see what the iconic group has been working on for all this time.

1. They might just be the best band of all time.

It sounds a little bit ridiculous to say now about a band that still plays mid-sized venues and doesn’t even have gray hair yet, but Glassjaw may be the greatest band to ever hit a stage. Sure, you can argue that the Beatles or the Rolling Stones or someone like that might be slightly more important, but if you ask the post-hardcore kids from the ‘90s, 2000s, and today, it’s hard to argue that pretty much anyone is truly superior to the guys from Long Island.

Glassjaw is at the Glass House in Pomona tonight, November 22, at 8:00 p.m. Tickets start at $25 and are available through the venue’s website.

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