reviewed by Kaitlin Ruether
In the Calgary Airport I closed my eyes and waited for my flight to Victoria: my flight home after six months in the too-sunny, too-cold prairies, and I pressed play on glum’s debut EP. glum — a Victoria based three-piece made up of alumni of the Victoria music scene — do not make music for closing your eyes to. Immediately, I craned my neck and watched travellers move through the space around me, to watch the excited, the sad, the balls of pure energy as fuzzy guitar riffs and repeated lyrics swirled around my head. Surrounded by energy is how you listen to the music of glum.
Opening on a biblical note, glum’s self-titled EP introduces their foundation of guitar riffs and devoted drum lines with “abraham”. “Flaming bushes in the thicket, but there’s no smoke,” are the first words released amid the shoegazey layers. Simple symbol fuzziness on “abraham” contrasts the climactic fills on the catchy and riffy “YYJ”. Ex-Pinner drummer Kate drives the EP to breathtaking: the drums are a consistent strength.
I took my first few breaths of perfectly-humid and chilled grey air to the tune of “destroyed”, which became a celebratory anthem. “I’ll be destroyed in the end” repeats and swells with such a fun contrast between tone and meaning. Signifiers and the signified. The melodies hook pleasantly and the track is punchy to the last drop.
Turning the focus to the vocals for the final track, the mellow and deep tones of “kinda wonder” delve deeper by sliding smoother. The bassist-turned-guitarist James sits back and lets the vocals find a post-punk cadence. There’s a hint of revival buried under the melodies.
At the end of my journey home, I felt amazed by the city I live in and the power of good old fuzzed out power pop songs. If you’re on the West Coast, the power trio will be playing shows on the Island and in Vancouver this month.
Top Track: “destroyed”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)