Listen to GLEAN

Glean are a hardcore band… I think. It’s hard to tell these days. And I mean that in the best possible way. Sure, they play stomping, punk rock riffs under some intense, barked vocals but they incorporate 90s alt-rock influences too. That’s not necessarily a unique addition, but there’s also shoegaze in the mix, and first wave emo and British indie, and even some electronic experimentation too. Like all the very best bands, Glean seem to take inspiration from a ton of different places.

After forming in 2019, the San Diego quartet recorded their first demo last year. It was full of melody and muscle and potential. But its timing was terrible. Released on the eve of the pandemic, there was little chance for the band to show off their balanced sound. Like more budding bands than I care to think about, they could have wilted away. Instead, they persevered, and have a new record that makes good on much of that early promise. 

‘Thing We Must Embrace’, out last Friday, is satisfyingly heavy but well-produced and ambitious too. ‘Faceless’, my pick of the tracks, starts in frantic fashion, but never trades speed for poise or emotional power. And then, when it slows down, its shimmering guitars are warm and welcoming. And then, when it finishes, I just want to hit repeat. Glean are a hardcore band… and then some.

For fans of Quicksand, Helmet, and Hum.

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