The Gloria Record
Comprised of two former members of emo band favorites Mineral, The Gloria Record plays music that's a lot like Mineral, except more subdued. 7 tracks stretch out over 35 minutes and singer Chris Simpson once again stretches his voice many times until it sounds like it's going to break. It's one of the things that seems to give their music tension is that ever-teetering edge where the voice just may break.
The disc starts out with a small burst of radio noise and an anouncement before breaking into an acoustic track that wanders for about 2 minutes before things mix directly into the guitar strummings of "Grace, The Snow Is Here." The track moves along for about 4 minutes, never reaching much of a peak, instead pulling the listener along through a relatively flat plain of sound. This same sort of formula is present on the very next track entitled "Torch Yourself," although the group does manage to give the eight minute track a little bit more dynamic by pushing and pulling things a little differently and building things even more slowly than on the previous track.
Stylistically, the problem with the album is that a lot of the songs are very homogenous sounding. Most tracks on the disc run at about a mid tempo pace and gradually build and fall, sometimes with plucked acoustic guitars and sometimes with electric. One of the most interesting songs on the disc is actually the instrumental track "Telephone Poles," because even though it stays fairly true to the formula of the music on the album, it conjures up images of a desolate plain without any interference or pre-conceived notions because of lyrical content.
Overall, it's a fairly typical "emo" album lyrically and musically, although it sort of fails to use a lot of the dramatic up-and-down swings that many other groups in the genre (including Mineral) use so well to build tension and release. If you're more for a meandering, The Gloria Record will tug you along with them.