The Indie Equation

The Unholy Marriage of Music and Math.


Equation #39: Glint

Simulcast on


Gotta give the guys of Glint some credit for being thorough. How often is it that a debut album holds an intimidating 14 tracks and runs over 70 minutes? I mean really, I can’t think of one off the top of my head and there’s a lot of stuff on the top of my head. Though it’s mostly thick, luxuriously soft auburn hair. (Thank you Pert Plus!)
But seriously, fellas, leave some for the b-sides. You don’t have to cram every last musical idea into your first album. Take a cue from Guided by Voices and Bob Dylan; spread it out a bit. Not that I’m really complaining; I like a long playing Long Player as much as the next guy and there’s certainly plenty of decent music here. It’s just, you know, real long.

Well, we should take a look at what actually makes up the hour and ten that comprises Glint’s debut album Mode to Joy (I get it!). With a smorgasbord of musical influences, the guys of Glint have put together a mostly coherent collection of ear-friendly alternative rock, or, as the band themselves call it, “jambient rock.” I dunno. Imagine Snow Patrol, Lovedrug, U2, Radiohead, Dave Matthews and Jimmy Eat World crammed into a kettle and simmered over low heat until congealed. Only this isn’t quite the smooth, savory soup of a band that has risen above their influences, blending the subtle flavors into an altogether new entrée. No this is more a chunky stew, a hearty meal but you can clearly taste the individual ingredients. That’s not to say that Glint wouldn’t win the blue ribbon at the “Arena Rock All-Comers Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale,” um, cause they just might.

Damn, now I’m hungry. (Note to self: never review thick, meaty albums just before dinner)

Overall Mode to Joy is a very strong first album. These guys play well together; they’ve got a tight sound that indicates they’ve been playing together for a while. Either that or their producer earned his keep. Whichever it is it’s refreshing to hear a band that can put out a strong debut rather than recording a few duds first. There are weaknesses though; while tracks like “From Me to You,” “Kro,” “One of a Kind” and “Deploy” are tight, clear and animated, others like “Retiring Your Fool,” “Umbrella” and “It Hurts” wander, fizzle or just never get going. With some bands the lyrics can sometimes offset a lack of strong and inventive music, however with most of Glint’s tracks this isn’t the case. The words are decent enough, don’t get me wrong, they deal with the typical rock standards - loneliness, attraction, regret, the pursuit of change - but nothing really stands out as a sterling example of poetry and one song even includes the line “Can’t we all just get along?” and I don’t think it’s meant to be ironic.

So if not the words, then the music, right? Yes, the music is good. “From Me to You” starts off with a barrage of “Naveed” era Our Lady Peace guitar that explodes, then backs off, giving way to a catchy, highway-worthy rock pace. Not that many people will make the connection, but it reminds me a lot of Portland band Crosstide’s single “Talk Radio” only more powerful. It’s a great arena rocker that’d probably be best choice for a radio single.

Departing from the alt-rock path doesn’t begin until “One of a Kind,” an electro-ambient haunt reminiscent of Radiohead’s creepier work on Amnesiac. From the distorted, ghostly piano arpeggios to the stark and robotic harmonies, it’s a creative and welcome deviation from the bulk of the album’s more standard rock tracks.

Another refreshing song comes later on in the record; “Deploy” begins with an almost Pink Floyd-like acoustic waltz leading into a powerful, emotional and mature ballad about regret, loss and loneliness. Possibly the most musically dense track, featuring drifting strings and piano on top of a lilting picked guitar, it builds to an anguished crescendo and is arguably the most satisfying song on the whole album.

All said, if they’d shaved off a few of the more milquetoast tracks then Mode to Joy would have been about 10 tracks and under an hour; with a little more pruning this album could have been one of the best independent releases of the year. Instead it’s a slightly distracted, albeit enjoyable, album that overstays its welcome by about 15 minutes. Still, if talent and presence are the true measurement of Glint, that extra running time won’t be their dreaded 15 minutes of fame.


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