The Birmingham, Alabama-based instrumental act Glories have been praised in the past for their uplifting music with smooth dynamics and overall great emotive qualities. After having released Mother Reverb in 2013 and Put the Beast Out of Mind in 2014, the instrumental quartet have returned with their third effort There is No Stillness.
RELEASE DATE: 20 January 2017 LABEL: Self-released
There is No Stillness is a dynamic collection of five songs, recorded in guitarist Dallas Kelley’s home studio, which also functions as the band’s rehearsal space. The production on the album is less dense than Mother Reverb and Put the Beast Out of Mind, but depth–wise There is No Stillness nestles itself right in between the two. The characteristic smoothness of Glories’ previous work is audibly present again, and the band merges a fresh sound and pleasant dynamics into a convincing unity.
At their climaxes, songs like “A Hint of the Sea” and “As Walls Keep Shifting” are colourful celebrations of sound, expanding upon the qualities that Glories are known for, while the monosyllabic vocals on the latter song are also a nice addition to the palette of sounds that Glories have presented in the past.
There is a discernible composition to the running order on the album. Three tracks—“Bravo Sierra”, “A Hint of the Sea” and “As Walls Keep Shifting”—have build-ups that are not attained through repetition, but rather through alternation of various melodic passages. Interspersing these are two tracks—“Telescopes” and “Dead Wait”—that have a more conventional flow where repetition leads to climax. This shows that There is No Stillness contains a carefully crafted balance between slow atmosphere building and energetic outbursts.
This record a pleasure to listen to. It works very well just playing in the background, but it also has enough technical and compositional substance to wrap your mind around when you’re just listening. The only form of criticism here would be the fact that conceptually this record feels pretty open-ended. For some people that would not be a problem, because this means that playing this record while simply listening results in being alone with undefined “feelings”. There is No Stillness carries no distinct encompassing theme, except for the sonic language that is typical for the genre. There are a few times where Glories lean towards the impressionistic—case in point: “A Hint of the Sea”—and this is very commendable, but it leaves more visually or concept–oriented listeners craving for more.
Nevertheless, the album does exactly what its title implies: it keeps moving. It is dynamic, it stays fresh, and it does it well. There is No Stillness is a must–listen for fans of guitar-driven post-rock and a considerable stride forward for this young band from Birmingham, Alabama.