The Glass Set – Something Unknown
Release Date: February 2007
There are many things I don’t know anything about. As my less-than-stellar Economics final exam proved, I am clueless when it comes to the Federal Reserve Bank. I have no idea what torque is, although I do know it’s very manly. And after repeated listens to The Glass Set’sSomething Unknown, I am still in the dark about their intentions for the listener.
The lack of stage presence from a shoegaze-influenced artist shouldn’t come through on a studio album. Yet, I am left with an emotional attachment that would have a hermit crab feeling sorry for me. Leah Callahan’s vocals never really change. The tempo might wander, but her plain alto spits out semi-thoughtful lyrics like a machine. Callahan, ironically, explains my sentiments best on the post-punky “Bike City”: “I’m bored out of my mind. Show me a good time.” I’m still waiting.
There just isn’t enough here. Each so-called “wall of sound” has large chunks missing. Riffs on “Tradition” and “Hong Kong Papercut” squeal, and the simple snare beats are underwhelming. Save for the poppy chorus on “Ramones’ Afternoon”, each melodic interlude is another chance for repetition of phrases like, “Baby won’t you dry my tears?”
The post-rock influence on closer “I Am The Camera” makes it the most daring track on Something Unknown. Callahan’s voice stays within its familiar, lazy register, almost ruining the uplifting instrumentals. But no matter how hard (or little) they try, The Glass Set just can’t seem to rid themselves of their indie-loner attitudes. Dullness is not an attractive trait.
Recommended If You Like: The Chameleons, The Comsat Angels, Spock, Deerhoof, telling a joke and then being told, "Too soon, dude."