Saddle Creek | The Good Life | Reviews


Novena on a Nocturn

Author: Jeff
10/09/2000 | Delusions of Adequecy | | Live Show Preview
The Gloria Record is just about my favorite band. There, I've said it. That being said, this is going to be a glowing review. I knew that before I even got there. The last time I had seen the band live, I was awestruck and inspired and lulled. This time, with a new EP under their belts, I was expecting even more.

But first the openers, which I'll sum up quickly, because you hardly care, right? Hyacinth, though, was damn cool. A three-girl trio playing Sleater-Kinney-inspired girl-rock with more melody and less growling. These three girls seemed uncomfortable on stage and didn't put on much of a show, but their combination of singing, melodic guitar playing, and even shouting was damn cool. Landlord, however, were pretty uninspiring. They sounded like a cross between The Pixies and Archers of Loaf, and as good as that sounds, they didn't pull it off. They were definitely unique, however. Just not very good.

But everyone had been telling me I had to see The Good Life, which is a side project for Tim Kasher, the singer of Cursive. And they were right. This band is downright wonderful, playing a more downplayed, subtle version of Cursive's passionate rock songs. Using a lot more keyboards and focusing on Tim's ability to go from a impassioned howl to a bitter whisper, this music was both beautiful and powerful. This was the band's last show on this tour with The Gloria Record, and they played their hearts out, especially as Kasher finished up on one of the slowest songs, his voice barely above a whisper. Wow.

The Gloria Record, as expected, did not disappoint. The sound, however, was not very good, and the band kept trying to adjust things to make it sound better. Singer Chris Simpson, who also has a memorable and wonderful voice, couldn't be heard as well as I would like, which made his vocals blend in. And if you're not familiar with The Gloria Record's style of lofting, swirling, beautiful rock, you so should be.

The band played a few songs from each of their two EPs, and not the more recognizable "Drove Home to That Achingly Long Song." They changed from quieter to louder, each song a swirl of sound. Their closer, dedicated to The Good Life who are from Omaha, Neb., was a new one entitled "I was Born in Omaha." It started off slow and contemplative but finished with the loudest and most incredible layering of sound I think I had ever heard. I couldn't tell one instrument from another, they blended together so perfectly, and it was so loud I thought my head was going to explode. But I didn't want it to end. That's the beauty of The Gloria Record.

On album, The Gloria Record come across as inspired and beautiful and melodic. Live, their sound takes on a more powerful quality, layering together so well and mixing with Chris' intense vocals. This is definitely a band that has to be seen to understand. Like the first time seeing them, I was content to stand before the stage, most often with my eyes closed, and just sway to the music. It's that good.