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Live Review

Glassjaw take to Download, revitalised and clenched like a fist

Posted: Friday, June 10th, 2016

Glassjaw, or more accurately the creative core of Daryl Palumbo and guitarist Justin Beck, have always been a gleefully awkward band. By following two albums of seminal Long Island screamo with a decade of silence, power-pop side projects and tantalising faux-reunions, they’ve maintained a mystique as powerful as they are unpredictable.

On their second UK outing, though, their latest incarnation might just be their most stable too. Tearing straight into ‘Tip Your Bartender”, there’s an energy and tightness to Glassjaw 2016 which seems due in no small part to their relatively new rhythm section. Locked into each other and -crucially- Beck’s snaking, Tom-Morello-of-Hardcore riffs, they provide the perfect backdrop for Palumbo to stalk the stage, his inimitable voice showing no signs of wear.

That wilful awkwardness, though, extends to their setlist choices and an early dispatching of the more popular tracks from ‘Worship & Tribute’ means their set loses momentum halfway through. A near-perfect sound thankfully carries the revitalised band across the finish line to, if not rapturous applause, a crowd grateful to have one of THE textbook heavy rock bands of the early 00s back and on form.