Glyder - 'Backroads To Byzantium'

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Glyder - 'Backroads To Byzantium'

A real corker of an album.

It is only just over a year since I reviewed the ‘Yesterday Today And Tomorrow’ from Glyder; however in the intervening months leading up to this release, much has happened in the world of Glyder. The band actually split after ‘YT&T’ and at the time it looked like that was that. However energised by the positive reaction to his solo album ‘A Lifetime To Kill’ and overwhelmed by fan reaction to Glyder splitting, guitarist Bat Kinane and his six string colleague Pete Fisher decided to quickly resurrect the band, albeit with a completely reinvigorated line up. The continuation of the hard riffing duo ensures that Glyder still have their trademark twin guitar sound, but expanding from a quartet to a five piece and the introduction of versatile singer Jackie Robinson has allowed the band to broaden their musical horizons and really stretch out their sound.

Don’t worry though, Glyder are still operating close to the classic rock sound that has made them one of the most invigorating bands of the last decade, but this time they have also added elements of blues, Americana and heavier rock to their songs, resulting in a more mature and rounded end product. Robinson brings a really fresh voice to the music, while new drummer Des McEvoy and bassist Graham McClatchie have formed a formidable partnership, being both able to pound out some killer rhythms, as well as bringing a huge amount of emotion and feel to the music. Take for example the slow and winding ‘Down And Out’, which starts with a sample of someone on the street asking Robinson if he can spare him any cash, before a plaintive guitar and atmospheric bass line leads you into a heartfelt tale of how tough life without a home is. It is a departure for Glyder, but to follow that song up with the uptempo, yet bluesy swagger of ‘Something She Knows’ shows how the band have grown, with an accessible chorus and hook-laden guitar motif giving this song a commercial tinge previously unheard in the Glyder cannon. If however it is heads down rockers that you’re after, then fear not, as the heavy yet rich ‘Chronicled Deceit’ kicks things off in fine style, while ‘Don’t Make Their Mistakes’ is a rousing call for this generation not to make the same errors as their forefathers. Add to that the insistent riff of ‘Even If I Don’t Know Where I’m Gonna Go’ and the mighty blast of guitars that makes ‘Two Wrongs’ and you have an album that hits home with an impressive clout, yet is still able to caress when the mood takes it.

The balance that Glyder have found between the style that their fans will already know and love, and bringing new elements into their sound has been done with a real sense of style and purpose and with ‘Backroads To Byzantium’ the band have come up with their strongest set of songs yet and a real corker of an album.

Steven Reid

 

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