Glassjaw - Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence
Record Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: May 9, 2000
When Glassjaw band came along in the early '00s, they really brought a whole new genre of music with them, and little did they know that this "new music" would be copied and copied over and over again. Their debut album, Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence was released during the summer of 2000, a time when nu-metal, the bane of the metal, or in fact, the whole music world, existed. Daryl Palumbo, their singer and lyricist has said that their goal was to create an album that would smash nu-metal out of existance. Ironically, of course, they'd choose Ross Robinson, "The Godfather of Nu-metal," to produce the album.
I remember buying this album; it wasn't when the album first came out, but in 2004, I believe. I hadn't heard the band before -- not once -- but I had heard a little clip of "Pretty Lush' on the TV, so in curiousity, I bought it, and at first, I didn't get it. I listened to 'Pretty Lush' constantly, and it reached a mighty 130 plays on my iTunes at the time, while the others sat there with one or two plays. Then I finally got the balls, you could say, and sat through the whole album, and I loved it. It possibly changed my life, and determined the songs I'd be listening to now, the present day, and I thank this album for that.
The album begins with opener "Pretty Lush" and it sure is a great start. The song is of course, in Palumbo's style about an ex. It opens with catchy guitars and a growl from Daryl. He switches from screams to clean vocals almost seemlessly. He seems to sing the lyrics with so much emotion that some of todays vocalists could only hope to achieve it. "I wish you a broken heart, and a happy new year" is a lyric sure to go on someone's Myspace profile after hearing this.
Second track "Siberian Kiss" is a more brutal, hardcore offering with walls of guitar crashing down around it. After a hectic start, it goes into an almost dreamy bridge, with Daryls voice manic and almost preachy, guitars layered on top of eachother, and the drums all at the back. The productio is really amazing, but what else would you expect from Ross Robinson?
"When One Eight Become Two Zeros" is a great song. Daryls lyrics are at top here, and the whole song just stands out. Its not as heavy as the opening two tracks but its not light either. Possibly my favorite track, "Ry Ry's Song," shows a much different side to the band and keeps things cohesive. Its almost like the punky brother of "Pretty Lush." It's a great song, with Justin Beck's guitar playing standing out here.
"Lovebites and Razorlines" is the most lyrically blunt song on the record. "So you can suck on the end of his dick that cums lead" is probably the most honest lyric on the album, and I have to say, I snickered the first time I heard it. Daryl's screams are at the most brutal here, the guitars are the most crushing, and all in all, this song just rips your heart out, takes a shit on it and puts it back. Its just insane.
Now, as good as this album is, there are a few bad songs, and I think I'll get them out of the way now. "Hurting and Shoving" is a damn awful song. There is almost no structure and it just seems like a load of random screams. I mean, of course there are lyrics, but my ears just started to hurt from listening to this song. Now for the worst song on the record: "Babe." I honestly haven't listened through this more than once. One good side is Daryl's Voice seems to stand up, but there isn't much else to say on "Babe." I just try to skip it.
"Majour" isn't much different than "Ry Ry's Song," except it is exceptionally brilliant. All the instruments and vocals just seem perfect together and the little noises in the background of guitars being "rubbed" seems to suit the dark nature of the song.
"Her Middle Name Is Boom" is Glassjaw's attempt at a ballad, and they pull it off very well. Palumbo's voice is almost like a lullaby, and its nice to hear a change from the usual growling vocals and throaty screams. "If you touch it, its cold. If you drop it, it breaks" are great lyrics, and in fact, the whole song has some of the greatest lyrics on the album.
"Piano" is good, with a catchy chorus and a dark heavy tinge in the bridge. It is supposedly about taking the leap from part time to full time rockstar, which, even though they're singing about it, they hadn't quite reached that status when this came out.
The title track "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence" is that '"epic penaultimate track." It's a song about Palumbo's ongoing battle with Crohns disease. You really do get the feeling of the pain he goes through. His vocals here are easily the best on the whole record; the range he reaches throughout this one track is amazing. The track slowly builds up, starting dark and slowly, almost going nowhere, then hitting you with a catchy bridge/chorus, then going back to the dark opening.
"Motel of the White Locust" is the final track on the record. It has the Glassjaw feel to it, but I don't like it as much as the other tracks. Maybe it's the fact it could of gone anywhere on the reord, or the fact that Palumbo's voice seems almost worn out at this point, but I just don't seem to like it too much. The lyrics are good, If not slightly controversial in some ways, and the chugga chugga guitar suits this song very well, but there's something about it that I don't like too much.
Finally if you want to know the roots of this "post hardcore" doodle then buy this album. It has its good songs (Notably "Pretty Lush" and "Piano") but also has its bad sides (Notably Babe and the lyrics on a couple songs are bad and almost cringe-worthy) however, if you have a taste for the unorm' then It'll stay in your CD player a long time, like it did in mine when i first heard it.
As much as I love this album and as much as I respect you for reviewing it positively, the review is not really well written. You're going to annoy the reader with a track-by-track analysis of the album- if anything it just leads to an overly lengthy review.
For someone who's been listening to this album for a long time (since 2002 for me), to say that some tracks are damn awful, and to admit that you've only listened to one of the songs once is going to alienate fans. And it doesn't show that you're giving the album a thorough listen before the review. It also doesn't make sense how you can score in the 90's when you pick out almost 20% of the album as being terrible.
Anyway, I'm glad this album got a review from a user, but I could have been done a lot better.
This album was and still is amazing. and yes, the lyrics are amazing as well. I have so much respect for the way he writes and the music that was crafted that it has greatly influenced the way i listen to music today. I was forever changed after listening to this record and the brutal heart felt honesty that poured from it.
THANK YOU GLASSJAW.....even if the new album never comes out ;)
The review is lengthy and basically a track by track. You should have scored it some where between 80-85 after pointing out so many faults. With some editing and more focus (and less track by track) your reviews could improve a lot.
Im sorry i try to stay positive most of the time with everyone. This record changed music. Changed underground music which changed mainstream music. It was a defining moment in time. This review does no justice at all. I don't think there is anyway to describe this record, it must be experienced. It is emotion translated directly into music. You'll either love it or hate it, and that what makes it so amazing. For those that get, it is like feeling love. The lyrics are rediculously honest with no sugar coating whatsoever. If that's not "your thing" then this isn't for you. It might offend you or scare your pretty little world. Its authentic and passionate and one of the last honest records i can remember.