Glories: There is No Stillness (Self Release, 2017)
Glories is a post-rock band from Birmingham, Alabama consisting of Dallas Kelley (guitars, keys, programming, glockenspiel, vox), Zachary Cooner (guitars, vox), Adam Blevins (drums), and Kyle Posten (bass). Their debut release, Mother Reverb, came out in 2013 after initially forming in 2011. Their third album, There is No Stillness, is five sweeping tracks that contain epic hills and valleys that are emotively deep.
There is No Stillness begins with “Bravo Sierra”. Reverse sounds populate the soundscape while a guitar plays a sparse melody. Keys rise and then the drums and bass kick in. Glories’ brand of post-rock keep things like drones going to add more texture to their compositions and this depth sets them apart from others. Once the band kicks in, the guitar adds swells to a medium tempo. The lead guitar soars, having an almost reverbed out shoegaze sound with walls of fuzz laying underneath. “Bravo Sierra” has an emotive resonance that sucks the listener into the world of Glories, hooking them in for the ride to come. At 5:43, all goes silent except a singular guitar, giving the listener a moments’ respite. The band’s use of undergirding drones adds a perfect layer to the composition. A second guitar joins, conversing with the other as synths rise in the mix. The back end of the song is contemplative, subtle, and beautiful composed.
“Telescopes” begins with a hopeful feel, bringing in tones with the expectation that an epic musical story is about to unfold. The programming touches are simple and add a brightness as staccato guitar trills throughout. The guitar phrasings in this track are just beautiful, playing off one another in an intricate dance. Posten’s bass seems to play about during the conversation as well, adding perfectly placed phrasings and accents. Blevins’ percussion work is solid but what really stands out to me is his work on the cymbals. He accents the songs with them, playing them like instruments, never overpowering but never being too subtle, while adding shimmer in the most wonderful places. This song could be a post-rock anthem, as it climbs to a gleaming crescendo and then opens, peeling back layers to reveal walls of bright electronic tones and delayed guitar. “A Hint of the Sea” is dreamy, beginning with reverbed, echoing guitar that sings out into the distance. Bass adds a deep touch while synths dance during the quiet soundscape. The tempo is slow and careful, creating a sense of longing. There is a melodic brilliance here coupled with strong song composition. The tempo never speeds up but the band plays beautifully with volume and texture to give the song a wonderfully explosive release.
“Dead Wait” begins with echoing synths and reverberating drones. The guitars have bright, echoing tones that accent one another. The drums and bass are driving. There are these wonderful moments in the composition where the band opens up, the guitars soar, and the percussion becomes sparser. They then get tighter and the driving tempo returns. Again, this band knows how to use their sonic tools to paint epic soundscapes that ebb and flow throughout. “As Walls Keep Shifting” has a slow tempo and a careful build. Guitars play melodies back and forth while the bass and drums create a foundation for the dreamier parts so it doesn’t move entirely into ambience. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful part of the album, thoughtful and pensive. Eventually, “ahs” are added to great effect, creating an ethereal, dreamlike feel. Then the band explodes, with guitars rising. The lead work here is stunning and the phrasing choices just evocative. It’s a wonderful end to this all-to-short album.
Glories isn’t your typical, cliché post-rock band. Given that post-rock bands are a dime-a-dozen now, it’s difficult to find ones that break the mold and Glories doesn’t disappoint. They create complex compositions that are emotive, with epic hills and valleys throughout. Their tones and various textures are perfectly chosen and their use of the electronic aspects add beautiful drone-like depth to their songs. There is No Stillness is a mature album, demonstrating that Glories brings to the post-rock landscape a decisively creative work riddled with epic soundscapes.
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