In the press, um junket, which I got with this album it explains that Reverend Glasseye is a Boston band made up of members from two Denver Colorado bands, Devotchka and Slim Cessna's Auto Club. Now I've seen both Devotchka and Slim live in Colorado and they both are truly amazing. I was eager to check out this side project patchwork band made from members of these two.
I'll put it this way, if you know what a strop is, you'll probably dig this band. If you order shots of whiskey, not shooters, you'll like this band. If you like cabaret and country and knee kicking dancing, this will be the ball down your alley band. The junket describes the sound as gospel cabaret punk. I don't think I can come up with a better description, although the overall flavor is more country than punk. Whatever, gospel cabaret with second set Hank III anchoring the sound is as close as I can get, if you've never heard the Reverend with the blinking marble before.
Despite the name and some song titles this ain't going to church music. Honestly I don't know the bible at all but I don't think I'm missing much subtle spiritual meaning. The bulk of songs are about not ever reaching self-defined doorways to happiness. Not getting, falling short and being left behind, you know, the usual.
The sound accompanying the different shades of loss is great. BIG SOUND, feet stomping wood floors, BIG SOUND, smoking through your nose, BIG SOUND, six musicians plus pounding, slapping, clutching, alligator wrestling their instruments, BIG SOUND, BIG LOUD BIG SOUND LOUD BIG SOUND BIG BIG. You feel the music in your blood, and you feel it blowing the collars of your shirt up to your sideburns with every beat….
The thing is I don't think my heart really felt it that much. The lyrics seem a bit been down this now cemented path before, if you now what I mean. While the music is head turning, the stale imitation, drug store perfume of the lyrics is off putting. In the end even with the incredible music the disappointing phrasing leaves the whole band wanting. It pisses me off because the Reverend has a great voice, but it’s wasted on vapid and clichéd narratives.
I like this style of music a lot, and I'm afraid it's catching on and so bands will come out that ruin it, water it down. This band is not an example of that happening, with some stitching of badges over the holes the lyrics leave, this patchwork band would be the shit, or maybe I need more religion.