Glyder: Yesterday Today And Tomorrow
Glyder have been around for quite some time now, 2004 saw them make their live debut at the Phil Lynott tribute gig in Ireland, before their first album hit the streets two years later. The buzz that had built from that first gig and the excellent debut disc seemed to almost assure that Glyder would live up to the hype and become the "next big thing" to break from Ireland. The band proudly wore the influence of their homeland on their sleeves with a sound that in places relied on Thin Lizzy for inspiration, while throwing in the odd Rory Gallagher reference for good measure. Despite (or maybe because) of those influences being constantly referenced in the music press, the success in terms of music from that first album stubbornly refused to repeat in the shape of CD sales. Undaunted Glyder soldiered on by releasing another stellar album – 2008's Playground For Life – and the excellent Weather The Storm EP in the same year. Once more critical acclaim followed (even though PFL, wasn't quite up to the fantastic standard of the debut) and once again those words fell on deaf ears with the paying public remaining blissfully unaware of the band's fantastic music.
So here we are another two years older and Glyder album number three is set for launch. Have the four piece been deterred by their inability to get the breaks their music so rightly deserves? Well lyrically – no, and musically, definitely not. Yesterday Today and Tomorrow not only rekindles the fire and urgency of the debut album, it does so with a confidence and swagger that had up until now been slightly missing from Glyder's arsenal. Sure the main starting point for much of the music on this album is still firmly based in Thin Lizzy's realm of grooving riffs and irresistible beats, however when they are presented in such glorious style as they are here, I really don't see why that would be anything other than a compliment and there is much else on show also. The opening trio really illustrate that good old fashioned, gritty and determined rock and roll really can have that determination and class in equal measures. "That Line" starts with a slightly understated, yet seductive keyboard line that blends with gloriously melodic guitar burst before building into a foot stomping, yet sophisticated rocker. Following that is "Knockout", which is, well a.....knockout! The lyrics tell the tale of Muhammad Ali as he counted out George Foreman at "the rumble in the jungle" way back in 1974. The words are perfect for the jabbing riff and the uppercut of the beat and married to those lyrics it is like having ringside seats at the rumble itself! The next character introduced is "Jack Strong" who like the band, knows when to stand up to for himself in the face of a braggart full of bluster, with the "big man" being put firmly in his place "back to the gutter where he belongs, Where the winos piss and the low life form." It is this self assured take on the world that is reflected in both the lyrics and the music of the songs that really elevates Yesterday Today and Tomorrow beyond anything the band has done before. The intro comes on like Jethro Tull's "Steel Monkey" with the pulsing keys and riff before the most memorable guitar work on the album takes over.
That consistency continues through the whole disc, with the U2 vibe of "Innocent Eyes" seeing drummer Davy Ryan contributing his first set of lyrics and melodies for the band, before the staccato riffing of "Make A Change" sees us back in Lizzy territory. Singer Tony Cullen spits out the words, as he often does, in a way that strongly reminds of Lynott himself. The funny thing is, he doesn't actually really sound like Phil, it's just that the phrasing and attitude comes from the same place, both geographically and emotionally. "The Bitter End" and the slower "Back To The Water" are both good songs, but with the blindingly high standard that has come before, both simply pass by without too much impact. That dip doesn't last long though as "One Of Us" has us strutting and preening again with the type of riff that many a band would kill for and a gloriously melodic chorus that warns us that "One of us is gonna go down, you'll see it won't be me". Ryan's drumming on this one is simplistic yet stunningly effective and the twin guitar attack of Bat Kinane and Pete Fisher locks into Cullen's bass work with precision and intent. It isn't that the songs are overly aggressive in their attack, or that they are blindingly heavy, it is more the brooding threat that is behind them that grips you throughout the album.
Using the same formula "Always The Loser" lets us know that the band don't always come out on top, even if the music is still winning, before the gloriously slow build of the title track brings the album proper to a close. Beginning with a nod to the emotion wrenching guitar playing of Gary Moore, the song starts a journey that ends with another all out rocker via a guest solo from Y&T (see the Yesterday and Today link there?) main man Dave Meniketti, which drips with the American's signature sound and fits like a glove into Glyder's style.
I say the album proper is closed by this track as, after a brief pause, the first of three bonus tracks begins. The mellowness, up front keyboards and vaguely progressive shift of "Time To Fly" and the almost Yes or Porcupine Tree like passages of "All You've Done" are at first a little surprising given what they follow, however both are well executed and with repeated listens reveal an interesting and different side to the band. What their diehard fans will make of them, I'm not sure, but the beautiful female voices, hand percussion and acoustic guitar of "Elverstown" adds to the progressive effect and it has to said Glyder do it very, very well indeed. The band's previous EPs have not been afraid to introduce different colours to the Glyder sound and whilst not what is expected, this closing trio of bonuses are worth having on the disc, especially if viewed as one long piece of music.
Glyder have been a band that have deserved far more success than has so far come their way and if justice is served, Yesterday Today and Tomorrow will finally see them achieve it.
1. That Line
3. Jack Strong
4. Innocent Eyes
5. Make A Change
6. Back To The Water
7. The Bitter End
8. One Of Us
9. Always the Loser
10. Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow
11. Time To Fly (Bonus Track)
12. All You've Done (Bonus Track)
13. Elverstown (Bonus Track)
Added: June 13th 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Official Glyder Web Site
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|Glyder: Yesterday Today And Tomorrow
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-06-13 07:58:30
Irish band Glyder are one of those acts that probably deserve a lot more acclaim that what they are currently getting, especially since prior to the release of their latest CD Yesterday Today and Tomorrow they've already accumulated some impressive material. Hopefully all that will change with this new one, as Yesterday Today And Tomorrow, with its varied mix of Thin Lizzy, T-Rex, and Kings X influences has a lot of what hard rock fans crave.
The Thin Lizzy influence is pretty easy to detect, though Glyder are by no means a rip off of the late Phil Lynott and Co.. Bassist Tony Cullent sounds a tad bit like Phil on rockers like "Knockout" and "Jack Strong", two melodic yet heavy hitting tracks fueled by plenty of twin guitar firepower from Bat Kinane & Pete Fisher. Though there are some keyboard embellishments courtesy of guest John Mulrooney, this is mostly a 'guitar' album, so expect crunchy riffs and tasty harmony guitar lines & solos around every corner.
Other highlights include the atmospheric number "Back to the Water", the dark & menacing "One of Us", and the more complex, proggressive pieces "The Bitter End", "Always the Loser", and the dreamy title track. Most of the songs are catchy, memorable hard rock fare, yet with just enough pop sensibility and prog complexity to appeal to a wide variety of music fans. Hopefully the world is paying attention.
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