I’ve been slacking on reviews lately. I know this and I’m sorry. Life has just been insane and I’m still struggling to find a balance now that live shows are coming back and being social is an option again. Even though I’ve been struggling to find the motivation, my stack and list of albums to review haven’t stopped growing and I need to get a handle on it all so let’s jump right in starting with Glaare’s new album ‘Your Hellbound Heart’!
I found the motivation I had been lacking as soon as “Young Hell” took over my speakers. An ambient and almost creepy intro kicks off this song before a dark, 80’s darkwave vibe takes this opening track over. This opening track is moody and almost post-punk in style. It has a driving drum beat that the vocals playfully dance over all the while electronic sounds echo through the dead space between the vocals and drums. I honestly don’t know how to truly classify this as I have never heard anything like it before but I’m sold on it.
“For Sale” is one of the lengthier tracks on this eight-song album but it doesn’t feel like it. Again, driving drums seem to catapult this song ahead while moody and powerful vocals dance on top of it. The rises and falls in this track are insane and captivating. I found myself completely stuck in the palm of the vocalists’ hand throughout this track and, in the blink of an eye, it was over, and “Terminator 2” had taken over my speakers. Although all of the songs so far have been moody and almost dark, I feel like you really get a glimpse into the more somber and darker side of Glaare in this track. The beat becomes a bit more slow and steady and the vocals take a more serious tone to them. There’s something heartbreaking in this track that, although not quite what I was in the mood for tonight, was beautiful and gorgeous.
Straight-up 80’s styled drums kick-off “Buyer’s Remorse” and I was instantly in love. The moodiness is still clear in this song but there’s something a bit dancier about this one that made it an instant favorite. As it played through, I felt as though I felt like I was at a club. I could see the strobe lights flashing around me, smell the sweat from a tight-packed crowd and feel my eyes sting from the constant use of a fog machine. Although this doesn’t describe a place that I would typically go to if I had a night off, I loved how just hearing this track transported me there.
“Divine Excess” brings the more somber vibe Glaare to the forefront but in a completely different way than “Terminator 2” did. There’s still a danciness in this track but the vocals seem to be a bit more emotive throughout this one which, again, had me completely captivated. I’ll be honest, this more new-wave-styled vocal has never really been my thing but the way Glaare does it has me second-guessing that opinion. There’s just so much range that I feel like I rarely get from bands like this and it had me eating up every word.
The dramatic intro of “Mirrors” pulled me into this sixth song with ease. Every song so far has had a super polished and almost arena-ready sound but this one really made me wish I was seeing it live in a giant venue. There’s a slight echo on the drums that just made me feel like if I turned the volume up loud enough, turned the lights off, and poured a drink after throwing twelve dollars on the counter, I could almost feel like I was lost in a giant show just taking it all in. I really can not understate how epic this entire album is but this track is just the icing on the cake. I was so lost in this fantasy concert world that I was a bit bummed as the album shifted into “2 Cents” but that disappointment didn’t last long. Another great track with interesting textures and too many layers to possibly count, “2 Cents” really showcases the vocal range of this band while keeping true to their electronic-inspired sound. Sure, there are some vocal effects on this album but you can’t get this kind of range by pushing a button.
The title track, “Your Hellbound Heart” closes out this album perfectly. Although it keeps with the distinct sound that is Glaare, I feel like it just adds a perfect exclamation point to a great album. It gives you all of the elements heard throughout the previous tracks while ending this release with a sense of power and mystery. It made me oh so happy to have listened to this album but also made me want to hear so much more from this super interesting and distinct group.
My Favorite Track(s): “Buyer’s Remorse”
For Fans Of: New-Wave Vibes with Post-Punk Sound; Electronic Sounds
Mosh-ability: 7 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie slept on the back of the couch; Autumn slept upstairs
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 9 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 8.7 out of 10
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