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Glyder: Backroads To Byzantium

It is only just over a year since I reviewed the Yesterday Today And Tomorrow album from Glyder, however in the ensuing months between then and the release of the band's fourth full length effort Backroads To Byzantium, much has happened in the world of Glyder. The band actually split after YT&T and at the time it looked like that was that. However energised by the positive reaction to his solo album A Lifetime To Kill and overwhelmed by fan reaction to Glyder splitting, guitarist Bat Kinane and his six string colleague Pete Fisher decided to quickly resurrect the band, albeit with a completely reinvigorated line up. The continuation of the hard riffing duo ensures that Glyder still have their trademark twin guitar sound, but expanding from a quartet to a five piece and the introduction of versatile singer Jackie Robinson has allowed the band to broaden their musical horizons and really stretch out their sound.

Don't worry though, Glyder are still operating close to the classic rock sound that has made them one of the most invigorating bands of the last decade, but this time they have also added elements of blues, Americana and heavier rock to their songs, resulting in a more mature and rounded end product. Robinson brings a really fresh voice to the music, full of warmth whilst still having the power to make you sit up and take notice. New drummer Des McEvoy and bassist Graham McClatchie have formed a formidable partnership, being both able to pound out some killer rhythms, as well as bringing a huge amount of emotion and feel to the music. Take for example the slow and winding "Down And Out", which starts with a sample of someone living on the street asking Robinson if he can spare him any cash, before a plaintive guitar and atmospheric bass line leads you into a heartfelt tale of how tough life without a home is. It is a departure for Glyder, but to follow that song up with the uptempo, yet bluesy swagger of "Something She Knows" shows how the band have grown, with an accessible chorus and hook laden guitar motif giving this song a commercial tinge previously unheard in the Glyder cannon. If however it is heads down rockers that you're after, then fear not, as the heavy yet rich "Chronicled Deceit" kicks things off in fine style, while "Don't Make Their Mistakes" is a rousing call for this generation not to make the same errors as their forefathers. Add to that the insistent riff of "Even If I Don't Know Where I'm Gonna Go" and the mighty blast of guitars that makes "Two Wrongs" and you have an album that hits home with an impressive clout, yet is still able to caress when the mood takes it. This album is no one trick pony, but neither is it unfocused, or diverse to the detriment of the flow of the songs. Instead Backroads... has been crafted with attention and care in a manner that makes it familiar yet challenging and friendly yet fierce. That attention to detail also stretches out to the wonderful cover art, provided by Mark Wilkinson who has also created covers for everyone from Marillion and The Darkness to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.

The balance that Glyder have found between the style that their fans will already know and love, and bringing new elements into their sound has been done with a real sense of style and purpose and with Backroads To Byzantium the band have come up with their strongest set of songs yet and a real corker of an album.

Track Listing
1. Chronicled Deceit
2. Long Gone
3. Fade To Dust
4. Even If I Don't Know Where I'm Gonna Go
5. Don't Make Their Mistakes
6. Down And Out
7. Something She Knows
8. Two Wrongs
9. End Of The Line
10. Motions Of Time

Added: September 26th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Official Glyder Web Site
Hits: 2618
Language: english

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