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No Better - '...It Felt Like Glass' Album Review


1. Poise & Light

2. My Love Says Always

3. Remember This

4. Seconds Race

5. Still

6. Waver

7. Cordova

8. Jets

9. Keep You Closer

10. What I Really Need

11. It Felt Like Glass

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s been quite warm recently; weeks of relentless sun, beating down on us as we go about our daily grind. Don’t get me wrong, I like the sun, I worship it from time to time, but after a while I start to agree with pretty much every other person, when they say “we really need a thunderstorm to clear the air”. That seems to be the common understanding, that (in Britain) thunder will follow sunshine, and we’ll go into some sort of cycle of sunshine and thunder, before the nights draw in and Autumn arrives. And that’s kind of how life can be sometimes, right? Things are going OK, then they get better, then they get abso-fucking-lutely incredible, before it all gets destroyed in some spectacular emotional plane crash, before eventually (hopefully) it starts to get a little bit better again.

The Golden State’s No Better are set to release 'It Felt Like Glass', a record which reflects the gamut of human emotions, and presented in such a way that tells the story from aspiration, to love and excitement, to fear, depression, hatred, loss, before gradually making its way back to cautious optimism. I’ve often thought that the problem with some Emo music is that it can concentrate too much on the Emo, and not enough on the music. 'It Felt Like Glass' doesn’t fall foul of that though, along with the articulation of emotion, there’s a real depth to the music, layers and layers to enthral the listener.

Every time I’ve listened this album, and I’ve listened to it a lot, I notice something new, some little effect, or lick that wasn’t there before.

The album starts with a ten second drum solo intro to ‘Poise And Light’, a song which moves from a fragile and vulnerable vocal, to full on roars. There’s a seamless morph into ‘My Love Says Always’, followed by ‘Remember This’, two beautiful songs which encapsulate that head over heels, all encompassing feeling of new love. And then the thunder clouds start to loom with ‘Seconds Race’, which perfectly vocalises the fear of growing older before we get to do the things we know we’re destined to do. “Still” and “Waver” document the break up, moving from depression to a real bitterness, before the total emotional explosion of “Cordova”, which really is powerful stuff- a story of the death of a lover, and the rest of the album is concerned with recovering from that.

This is music to be experienced, and fully immersed in, not a soundtrack to your family barbecue. So plug in the headphones, lock yourself away, and get on this, because it’s stirring stuff.

Review - Jon Stokes

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