Record Review: Glass Museums – This is the Start

T.i.t.S FrontGlass Museums is the newly invigorated reworking of Glasgow band Holy Childhood, and their debut EP is a hook-laden study in melody and musicianship.

The sound is markedly different; the songs give an assured nod to the anthemic pop of recent Biffy Clyro and Oceansize, however they are more polished in their delivery and somewhat less intense.
Opener, ‘Shine a Light’, does not waste any time in displaying the band’s new direction, beginning with a swell of guitars and smashing face-first into a mighty intro.
Although drawing Biffy Clyro comparisons is not always welcomed from Glasgow bands, it is a little too hard not to draw such a conclusion; the huge choruses coupled with a “whoa whoa” backing chant is unashamedly stadium-sized.
Lyrically, ‘Shine a Light’ is as uplifting as the EP gets; the songs seem angst-driven and reflective, injecting emotion into the record and suiting the supersized direction the band are heading in.

Musically, the EP is about as mature as it gets for this genre.

‘Charging Horses’ is a brilliantly crafted pop song, full of inventive riffs and vocal melodies, and rather aptly involving a murmuring heartbeat underneath the vocal mantra “give it all of your heart”, leading to one of the most intense crescendos on the EP.

Everything is in its right place in each song; the guitars lines are never over-complicated but are instead awash with intelligently crafted melodies.

The string section throughout ‘Cover Me Up’ does not overpower the song but instead adds depth and an undercurrent of emotion and the drum fills are at times baffling in their intricacy and delivery in each song.
The voice of Bruce McKenzie is something to stand back in awe at; it shifts effortlessly from powerful roars to delicately delivered melodies throughout each song, and is brazenly soaked in emotion.
Overall, this EP is something of a statement for a band who have been through many changes in lineups and musical styles (singer McKenzie and guitarist Barry Lee have been in four or five different permutations over a number of years); This is the Start suggests that they have found a style in which they are ultimately comfortable and inarguably excel.
Words: Calum Stuart

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