A glassing is a rather nasty way of being attacked and is done by somebody armed with broken glass or a glass bottle, which can happen in a pub following a dispute or disagreement of some kind. This is one of the many reasons why I choose not to imbibe alcohol and stay home most evenings, that and being an introvert too. Far more pleasant is the Austin, Texas trio of the same name who have been carving out records at a steady pace for close to half a decade and who consist of Cory Brim on guitar, Dustin Coffman on vocals/bass, and Scott Osment on drums. Dire And Sulk is their latest release, following last year’s third full-length album Twin Dream.
According to a recent interview which Coffman did with Decibel, thematically both tracks on the EP ‘are expressions of how inescapable we are from our own environments and, more treacherously, ourselves’, it also marks Osment‘s (Deaf Club/Weak Flesh) first recording with the band. The beautiful cover, designed by Las Vegas based artist Piper Ferrari, was a big motivating factor for me when it came to deciding whether to pick this release up for review. It gives off post-punk/gothic vibes with the colour scheme and style, recalling vintage Factory Records ala the Closer album and the Love Will Tear Us Apart single.
As someone who is completely new to Glassing‘s world and who had hitherto not heard a note of their music, I was not quite sure what to expect. The genre descriptions on the band’s Bandcamp page certainly didn’t make it any easier to ascertain as to how they sound, ranging as it does from post-rock, sludge metal, black metal, and post-hardcore.
continuously battered between filthy noise damaged hardcore sludge and warp speed black metal…
On my initial first listen to opener Dire it appears that all of the aforementioned genres are applicable to the track and yet which are transcended simultaneously, so dense and diverse is the music on offer. There is a certain sludginess to the music, but not in the traditional Crowbar/Cavity sense, think more along the lines of Will Haven and you’re in the right ballpark basically. Interjected alongside the sludge are amazing moments of black metal ferocity with some simply outstanding drumming in tow, as well as beautifully melancholic atmospheric passages demonstrative of a band unafraid of melody.
There is an unpredictability to the number that makes it so thrilling and helps sets me up for the final track Sulk, which was released as a single and for which a video has been made. The video reflects the track’s direct unpretentious approach with the band playing (presumably at home), no thrills, bells or whistles. Whereas Dire took a couple of listens to fully digest Sulk by comparison hooks you from the off. There are no detours into post-metal/post-rock territory, instead you are continuously battered between filthy noise damaged hardcore sludge and warp speed black metal with little to no room for reprieve. Outstanding.
When listening to Dire And Sulk my mind was cast back to Bleeth’s Harbinger EP which I reviewed last year, not in the sense that the bands necessarily sound alike, but in how both of them manage to pack in such a wide variety of musical styles/genres in such a short amount of time. This is no easy task and Glassing have proven they are more than capable of meeting the challenge. Thus, Dire And Sulk serves as a nice primer for a new full-length (whenever that may be) as well as acting as a very effective entry point for newcomers to the band.
Scribed by: Reza Mills