CD Review

Glampire - "The Heraldic Universe"

by Marcus Pan
Some photos by Sasha Waldman & Nate @ Angelchild Photography

GlampireGlampire is a pissed off entity out of the stateside Big Apple. They are upset at the decline of creativity in music - at the loss of memorable songs that remain with a listener forever. "The world does not need more bland copycats," their website does state. Without fear they define themselves with yet another genre-crunching label: glambiant. The past five years of life for Glampire has produced a few releases that have held somewhat high regard in some circles. The Beginning of Terror hit the streets in '97 followed by Pretty Scary in '98. They just recently released an EP, Glitta 99, as a precursor to the October 31 '99 release date of The Heraldic Universe which I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of.

Glampire's musical style is a strange hybrid. Musically messy at times and somewhat chaotic with a number of musical influences from predominantly post-punk and pop. With Cure-like extremities and vocal soundings that I found reminiscent of Alice Cooper, Glampire is an effervescent mix of weirdness. Musical instruments are squeezed together into a mish-mash sound with less in the way of polish, but more in the way of attitude. The combination of glam and goth may seem like a fucked up combination, but its no different than white face and glitter. It's a glance back to the old looks and attitudes with a bit of a new-age sound. If Prince and Robert Smith had offspring it would probably look and sound much like this.

The Heraldic UniverseThe messy sound of Glampire's recordings comes from the attempt of squeezing as much creative energy into one song as possible. Guitar, bass, synthesizers, drum tracks and whining vocals coalesce together into a sometimes hard-to-follow routine. Preaching and pushing for a rebirth of originality in music, they shove so much of the same into one track that it becomes almost overloading on someone trying to decipher the musical attributes therein. The vocals remain whine-like throughout the CD with a Veruca* gimme-that-it's-mine tone.

Super Sod is the opening track of The Heraldic Universe, acoustically strumming with a lot of rhythm tracks. Already you can hear the multi-instrument combinations coming together and, occasionally, slamming into one another. It seems like too much on one track. The second track is Happy Again? The musical style and instrumentation is similar to the mish-mash Super Sod sound and the lyrics lament, "I'm not gonna be happy again." Very angst-ridden and too much of a cliché in my opinion. Track five is My Own God, which also appears on Glitta 99 as well as here. This has a more electric-guitar sound, with a Prince-like flair and solid bass line. The song is much less wishy-washy than most others on THU. But again, the track revisits standard subject matter. Some of the lyrics are hard-hitting and in your face however - "Suck the cock of the money dog, it might get you paid." That's a great line. But still - it's a song we've heard before, at least lyrically. And again, track 9, Lie of the Land discusses the Big Brother aspect of government. It opens with a long monologue sample that discusses privacy and government infringement upon it. The album closes with Build A Machine, which is probably my favorite off of THU. It kicks off with a rant-like monologue, presumably a movie though I know not from where, condemning the whole monotheist ideal. "And we can all go fucking pray to the asshole god up there, man, who fucked it all up in the first place!" A true Marilyn Manson style shock-therapy song.

GlampireA return to originality and creativity. That's the schtick of Glampire. But the creativity needs to be tempered. Every song can have its own degree of creation rather than all songs being imbued with so much of this that the sounds get smooshed together. I'd rather hear a band spread their creative energy out throughout a CD, rather than dump so much into a single track that it becomes unidentifiable. With the multitude of combinations that Glampire uses within a single song it steals away from the meaning because rather than enjoying the song for its musical and lyrical properties you're busy going, "What was THAT?" Glampire have their mission and their goal. They are striving for it greatly and I think might even achieve it someday. But they need to mature a bit, learn to spread out and enfold rather than grab and squeeze.

* The one from Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Not the band.
Contact Information:
Post: Kayos Productions, Inc., 16 West 19th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10011
Phone: (212) 645-9178
Fax: (212) 727-8282
E-Mail: Vyolet6@aol.com
Web: http://www.glampire.com

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