wears the trousers magazine

gliss: devotion implosion (2009)
September 28, 2009, 9:59 am
Filed under: album, review, video | Tags: , , , ,


Devotion Implosion ••••

Released in the US back in April, this second album from LA-based trio Gliss stays safely within pre-established genre boundaries while creating a stylishly dense and seductive collection of songs. Multi-instrumentalists Victoria Cecilia, Martin Klingman and David Reiss continue their trend of seamlessly trading tools and vocals throughout the album, making for a surprisingly varied yet steady pace. Toe-tapping from start to finish, Devotion Implosion rarely goes too far in either the up or down tempo direction, preferring instead to maintain an air of cool sophistication. The nearly impossible to decipher vocals gently float through the songs like an accompanying instrument, forming the centrepiece of the music rather than anything so conventional as lyrics.

Slotting in nicely with the current crop of shoegaze revivalists, these luscious, reverb-courting songs are decidedly retro, with hints of clear, bright notes and heavy, fuzzed out guitar lines that take control and command attention, darting in and out along the way. They are by turns tender and brash, charming and hypnotic. So while songs like ‘Morning Light’ and ‘Sleep’ create a wonderfully sweet, romantic air using all the tools of rock and roll to do so, for the most part Gliss stay away from the harder side of their rock roots, preferring instead the lighter, more seductive side of psychedelia to lure in new ears.

Devotion Implosion is high class mood music, a perfect match for long and winding road trips or hazy afternoons. The songs here are solid, well produced, deftly executed, and all feel instantly recognisable on the first listen. Familiarity can become a double-edged sword, however, and that may well be true for Gliss. Repeated listens do more to invoke the spirit of their influences than it does to set the band apart. Echoes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club guitar and Stratford 4 haze often drown out any contradictory note. That nearly every review so far printed for the album refers to the same two bands repeatedly is proof of just how within the lines they have stayed.

Given the calibre of the musicianship on show here, it’s hard not to want a more daring or unique take on the genre. Still, it’s a fine effort and one that will likely see their own influence grow, and with that hopefully will come a more defined, singularly Gliss sound. Devotion Implosion proves that they are more than capable.

Elyse Cain
UK release date: 19/10/09; www.myspace.com/gliss

‘Morning Light’


1 Comment so far
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Great job Gliss!

Comment by Vessy

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