Sound: This album shows yet another beautiful example of what talented musicians can do when they choose to collaborate with other talented musicians. The initial announcement of Sky Eats Airplane's vocalist Jerry Roush working with Josh Travis (When Knives Go Skyward, Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza) was a very nice surprise when looking at the growing list of 2012 music releases.
The sound is clearly what everyone hoped it would be: pounding riffs that touch on all aspects of Travis' guitar ability, soaring choruses and catchy hooks that bring the listener back to Sky Eats Airplane, and well rounded musicians that all get to have their featured moments on the album. Tracks like "If He Dies, He Dies" and "Counting Sheep" showcase Travis' almost Danza-like riffs that swap from powerful choruses to a cacophony of frenzied riffs. "White Flag" and "From May To Now" start and end the album on Roush's vocal prowess, adding a pop element to the album that no doubt will open up their sound to a wider audience. "Memorandum" takes a break from the frenzied riffs by adding a very relaxed groove driven by the bass that almost hypnotizes the listener.
All in all, the great thing about this album's sound is that while it is what we'd expect from a collaboration between Roush and Travis, it brings a lot of each band member's talents forward that aren't always highlighted in their respective groups. // 9
Lyrics: It is always hard to critique lyrics, seeing as I have limited practice with trying to carve out the topic for a song while at the same time choosing the right words to compliment it rhythmically. Fans of Sky Eats Airplane will obviously love Roush's lyrics, but I believe that while the lyrics are decent in my opinion, it is Roush's delivery that makes them sound that much cooler. He's able to take topics that are always reworked and repeated and give them a new direction over Travis' guitar playing. I can see how people may not like the lyrics and won't want to sing with them as their girlfriend screams each and every word at the stage, but I do see those guys unintentionally humming or singing the melodies crafted with the words. Whether it is the words sung out of tune or the melodies sung with no clarity in the words, Roush has done his job with this album. // 8
Overall Impression: This album is a clear standout in 2012. The month of July already has so many awesome releases to explore (Periphery, Exotic Animal Petting Zoo, The Contortionist), and Glass Cloud easily goes toe to toe with their "competition". The only reason why I have that word in quotations is because that while yes they are competing for fans and sales, there is still no other sound that can compare to what Glass Cloud has given to the world of music. It will be awesome to see how this group grows over the course of this year, and if more releases are in their future, you can bet I'll be one of the first to start jamming their tunes in my jeep. // 8