Suffocated in midrange but sharp enough to cut through the silence like a hot knife through butter, there’s not enough that can be said about the black and white grit on the string play in “Cumulous,” one of the eleven tracks comprising the all-new album Invisible by Glorybots. Bringing as much brawn to the studio with him as he is intellectual drive, Jalal Andre is back with another incredible effort under the Glorybots moniker in this latest release, which features songs both atmospheric (“Cumulous,” “Suicide Hotline”) and anxiously cerebral (“Wrong,” “Blepharospasm,” “Caged and Confused”) within the same fluid tracklist.
There’s definitely a heady grunge component to a lot of the riffing in this LP, but it’s accompanied by a desert rock-influenced experimentalism that feels particularly fetching when matched up with harmonies like those in “Caged and Confused,” “Far Away” and the surreal “Radiate.” The layers of melodic noise are somewhat reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine, but none of the droning riffs on this album ever devolve into mindless shoegaze in the vein of the retro-worshiping content I’ve caught coming out of the Seattle scene lately. If his goal was to distinguish himself from the dying culture he’s surrounded by in the PNW, Andre absolutely nailed this most recent trip to the recording studio.
The textures in “Repent,” “Me vs You” and “Loaded Gun” are arguably telling us more about the central mood in Invisible than linguistics ever could have on their own, but I wouldn’t dismiss any of the verses we find between the start and finish of this album as an afterthought. There’s as much of a poetic substance to these tracks as there is a sonic depth that we’re supposed to cling to as a main source of emotionality, and to even be acknowledged for possessing as much is something Andre should be happy about as an indie noise-rocker.
“London Breeze,” “Suicide Hotline” and “Cumulous” were mixed with more physicality than they were straight melodicism, but they’re just as aesthetically compelling as any of the more conventionally-constructed tunes here are. I think it was important for this second Glorybots LP to have an equal balance of aural tenacity and harmony-based framing, mostly to avoid comparisons to some of the other players that have come before Jalal Andre in this genre – and, more specifically, his neck of the woods. He’s definitely set himself up as an individual in this record, and that’s an accomplishment by all measurements.
Longtime followers of Glorybots are going to be more than pleased with the evolved look this project has taken on since debuting back in 2018, and those who are just now discovering Andre’s music through this sophomore effort will probably share similar sentiments. I’m very impressed with what I’ve heard here, and although I came into this review with some pretty impossible expectations, there’s no arguing that Invisible is both everything and nothing like I thought it would be – much like some of the best indie LPs ever made tend to be.
by Bethany Page