Tag Archives: glowbug

ALBUM REVIEW: Glowbug – Headhunters

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This article first appeared on The AU Review.

In previous years, Daniel Anderson A.K.A Glowbug hasn’t made too much of a fuss about his releases. As a member of rap outfit Hyro Da Hero as well as Idiot Pilot, there hasn’t been much room for his solo outings. 2012’s Suit Of Swords was a masterpiece of reverb infused electro-pop with an interesting mix of grunge, yet he released it for free download on Bandcamp with a heads up to fans from social media accounts, but nothing noticeable. But Glowbug’s new full length effort Headhunters is hard to look past, no matter how coy he might be about marketing it.

The opening track “Webs” is passionate and anthemic, brimming with dangerous sounding synth and empty falsetto vocals. This track will immediately flag one thing up front for listeners, if you don’t like reverb in your vocal track, you won’t like Glowbug. What started out as a bit of a production faux pas for me, turned into a loving, long-term relationship, and now I couldn’t imagine a world where singers didn’t use reverb profusely. The hollow spike in electronics and desperation in the vocals signify the outro of the track, catering to both electro lovers and the heavier sorts as things get fast paced and screamy.

“I Need A Lover” is your more standard rendezvous with the poppier Glowbug, starting with an infectious melodic line and easy to relate to lyrics about life and love. The guitar solo in this is the first one I’ve heard on a Glowbug track and it’s pretty damn sweet too. It’s the single “False Metal” that shines through the most, though. The first song on the album of many to sport a featuring artist in Josh Holland and it’s a welcome addition from the reverb soaked vocals of Daniel Anderson. Holland’s beautifully high-vocal range headlines the track in a call-and-response arrangement, adding an impressive new element to what we were previously used to from the bug. The tune has attitude, emotion and the uncanny ability to get stuck in your head, which is a rare quality for a sort-of-heavy song.

One of the other highlights on Headhunters (besides the album artwork) is a featuring spot from rapper Hyro Da Hero. The track, “Blood In The Waves” adds a beat reminiscent of Tinie Tempah, and come to think of it Hyro sounds pretty similar to the UK rap superstar too, and that is in no way a criticism. The song is tight. “Death Of The Party” is another one of Glowbug’s staples, the retro track that then throws us off course with a screamo chorus. The intro to this song sounds like something that could’ve played on the “Breakfast Club” soundtrack, but then it veers right out of control, giving us a hell of a breakdown, with sirens and screaming to top it off. Also, I should mention that the film clip is one of the most confronting things I’ve ever seen, although it fits the song quite nicely. It’s a really harsh mix of tropical fun and grotesque depravity, watch it (at your own risk) and see what I mean.

When “The Night My Heart Stopped” kicks into play it’s like the musical version of the panic and confusion you see when a fire alarm goes off in an office block. It’s a ferocious song featuring Sean Smith from The Blackout that packages the electro-hardcore vibe of Glowbug quite nicely. “Haunted” and the ending track “All In” takes the act in a much needed melodic direction, as a break from some of the more confronting tracks. Inclusive of female vocals from Lourdes Hernandez, the latter tune even takes a turn that could be described as “mellow”, a stark contrast from the rest of the collection. That’s where the artist hits his stride. It’s such a diverse collection, going from bravado, to fucking panic and into a straight forward, chill-out, electro-pop track and some tracks on cruise-control to even it out. And it works. I feel like if he stuck with just any one of these styles the whole collection would have become a bit tiring. But what we have is an album that just straight-up works.

Daniel Anderson is a bloody great musician and producer, and it’s never been more clear then inHeadhunters. There’s a lot of personal angst here, and not the type that keeps teenagers in their bedrooms writing in their diaries about why Dad will never understand. This is the type we can get behind. A man putting his whole life into music at the sacrifice of the simple things that make most of us happy. The album screams redemption throughout the course, with lyrics like “I really thought about giving up” and “I wanna live life again” exuding from the singers mouth. This is a Glowbug taking all the things that made him good, and ditching all his ghosts to create his best work to date. Perhaps the best part about it, though? He’s still giving it out for free. It truly is a good time to be a Glowbug fan.

9.2 / 10

*****

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Glowbug – False Metal (Ft. Josh Holland)

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Holy. Friggen. Hell. Why Daniel Anderson aka Glowbug keeps giving out his material for free I will never know. But there’s another album on the way, hitting the web on January 21st of this very year and early signs point to a masterpiece.

The king of reverb has given us a little taste in the new single “False Metal”, alongside his pal Josh Holland, who brings a more solid vocal line to the track, something seemingly needed due to Daniel Anderson’s hollow style of vocal arrangement made even thinner by his signature overuse of reverb. But honestly, where would this guy be without it. That’s what makes us love him!

It’s an electronic, slightly post-hardcore holy grail of a song. It screams (literally) hopelessness and liberation, all the feelings and angst of the emo movement imbued into a modern day electronica track that could appeal to really any old joe.

As I mentioned, the album “Headhunters” is out on the 21st of January and up for FREE Download on the Bandcamp site, but you can order a limited edition (300 copies) vinyl over there now through the link here: http://glowbug.bandcamp.com/

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5 Of The Best from 2012

The other night I was asked by someone who my favourite band/album of 2012 was. Anyone who read this blog a year ago would certainly know that there was one band in particular that stole my attention for a solid part of the year, but after naming a few good ones I really got involved in I decided it would be a cool idea to re-cap the top five in case you missed out on these absolute pearls for one reason or another.

5. Stepdad

On the old TIRS domain of Blogspot I named these guys “Album Of The Month” following the release of their debut LP, Wildlife Pop. 

What I said in 2012 – “…There are literally more singles embedded in this debut effort than you could poke a stick at and the vibe of the album is just so much fun. In all the weekly finds I make it’s rare to come up with an entire album that I can do over and over for a month and still believe it will remain in my collection for a long time to come without getting tired.”

4. Reptar

With a name derived from one of the coolest kids shows of my own childhood, what’s not to love about these guys?

What I said in 2012 – “…these guys have way better songs than that (albiet awesome) theme song with the burps from the Nickelodeon classic. The vocals take a bit of getting used to but I love them, and this is my top ten so suck it.”

3. Glowbug

Like many bands I listened to in 2012, I discovered Glowbug off the Blalock’s Indie Rock Playlist. I then found out their latest album at the time, Suit Of Swords, was downloadable, free and legal on bandcamp…sorted.

What I said in 2012 – “…Daniel Anderson, the man behind the bug, is an electronic dream maker, with his crafty use of reverb on pretty much every single lyric and melody he writes, he somehow creates one of the best albums of year in Suit of Swords.”

2.Wild Cub

Perhaps the most surprising release of 2012. One that I still listen to on repeat almost once a month a year later.

What I said in 2012 – “It’s one of the coolest, jim jam jivenest tracks I’ve heard all year long (it’s still hip to be square right?). Thunder Clatter is one of those compositions that has taken full advantage of the over the top percussion phase that our beloved music industry seems to be going through and I for one hope it never ends.”

1. Little Comets

I was absolutely obsessed with this band all year and still kind of am. They’re super talented as live performers and musicians and it’s no wonder crowds everywhere are lapping them up with their grass roots style of self marketing (they play acoustic sets on the most popular trams on the way to their actual gigs, it’s amazing).

What I said in 2012 – “…in the short time Little Comets have been ticking along in the spotlight, their sound has matured at an incredible rate. Their debut record, In Search of Elusive Little Comets, was a collection of your standard British pop tunes with vibes taken straight off the likes of The Wombats, The Kooks or even perhaps to a lesser extent We Are Scientists. The vibrant three part harmonies and stop/start clanging of guitars rivalling the drummer for control of driving the beat of the songs, alongside Robert Coles unreal ability to make a crafted, polished voice sound gritty and cool is a thing of magic.”

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