Gløde “Ø” (Membran, 2017)

Gløde announce themselves with the ambitious anthem As We Speak that bridges the gap between the Choir of Young Believers and Elbow. It’s a song that builds and builds and is full of self-confidence, unafraid to push ever wider ever bigger as though they are inventing themselves for the purpose of filling stadia. Then comes Lady In A Dress which cuts everything back, exposing the lyrics which aren’t strong enough to sustain interest – the songs are like a perfume advert come to life, all artificial and surface glamour. Songs like Make Up rely on the strength of the voice and of the narrative and they fail on both counts.

Sailor has the dubious pleasure of bringing to mind Rod Stewart’s Sailing and also elevating Mr Stewart’s ode to the Onedin Line in my estimation. Rose returns them to anthemic mode and sees an uplift, as when the songs are swaddled in layers of guitars and keyboards it hides the ennui at the centre of the undertaking. The seven-minute close Exhale is pretty enough but takes far too long to say not very much, doubling its length with a coda that adds nothing to the song.

Author: David Cowling

Punk rock, Go-Betweens, REM, Replacments, Husker Du, Minutemen, Will Oldham, Smog, Whiskeytown, Ass Ponys but probably most of all Howe Gelb, led me on this journey.

Leave a comment..