The Gloria Record play a melodic, emotional, textured style of rock that is virtually unmatched today. After the break-up of Mineral (one of my favorite bands and a pioneer in the emo-rock genre), The Gloria Record rose and took over where Mineral left off. Featuring the singer/guitarist and bassist from Mineral, The Gloria Record play beautiful, melodic and complex rock.
Live, The Gloria Record are best enjoyed standing still with one’s eyes closed, letting the music wash over you. I was amazed at how cleanly the five-piece band pulled off the complex music live. The singer has one of those voices that you have to hear to believe, almost another instrument in itself, a melodic and varied sound. I expected his voice to sound nowhere near as good live, but, other than the difficulty of understanding the singer that is common in a live show and more pronounced because of his complex singing style, the voice was quite clear and good.
The Gloria Record played two songs from their EP on Crank!, including “Grace the Snow is Here,” which was also on their 7-inch. Their newer songs, after the EP, seem to have a little more pep while maintaining the beauty and coherence obvious in the band’s debut EP. The band did pause several times in between songs to re-tune or switch from electric guitar to acoustic, but the live show was intense and powerful and quite moving, making me realize what emo is all about. Unfortunately, they played about six songs only and no encore. I could have listened to the band all night.
Planes Mistaken for Stars are now native to Denver. They play melodic hardcore with dual vocals, one screamed and one sung. The band’s EP (on Deep Elm) rocks hard, with complex starts and stops and loud-quiet moments. Live, the band’s music is almost as good as the album. The screamed vocals are clear and good. The lead singer, however, has the mic tilted down and seldom sings close enough to the mic to be heard. This causes a problem, except for the few slower songs when he calms down enough to sing properly into the mic. The three-piece rocks hard and plays a good show, if only the singer would sing into the mic. Their best songs are “The Past Two” and “Copper Stars” (a song that the singer says they play like shit), both on the EP.
Acrobat Down are another local favorites. The five-piece plays emo-rock in the style of Christie Front Drive, Mineral, and the Promise Ring. The keyboardist, new member to the group, adds some unique sounds to the mix, and his hyperactive bouncing adds some much-needed energy. The vocalist’s voice is mediocre live and not precisely clear. The music itself, however, is unique and fresh despite the above-mentioned references. I really enjoy the mix of styles in the band’s songs and mix of influences. They do a good live show, but I would love to hear them recorded. I think they have a 7-inch on Crank!.