Glass Angel – Fight or Nah (ep review)

I first witnessed the angular majesty of Glass Angel when my band performed alongside them last year in Bristol at what we always dubbed as ‘the worst gig that we’ve ever played’. We may have stumbled ourselves, but Glass Angel were a gleaming surprise of jerky Indie-Pop, who really stuck out to me that night, even though the barman shouted at them for talking politics on stage! 

Their brand new 3 track EP opens with “(Do you wanna) Fight or Nah?”, which is absolutely brilliant! Opening with a ‘ding ding’ from the boxing ring fight bell, this track oozes with exciting post-punk vs pop tendencies. It’s repeated titular lyrical refrain and catchy guitar line really grabs your attention as the track progresses.

There is a mischievous plodding bass line from bassist John Slattery that really helps to drive the song into more of a New Wave direction, as well as a wicked vocal delivery from lead singer and frontman Shaun McCrindle. About halfway through we are also treated to guest vocals from an unknown female backing vocalist, which really helps to give the track an offbeat 80s vibe. I really like this track, it’s a quirky little pop song with plenty of interesting sounds and styles going on to keep you fully engaged.

The second track of the EP “My Ship” jumps straight in with its guitar and vocals, then bursting into some sharp percussion from drummer Jeff France. This song has more of a Brit-Pop feel to it with its short song breaks, allowing the jangly guitar and ominous basslines to shine through. “Do you want to take a ride in my ship?” is the chorus of choice for this track which builds up and up into its John Squire-esque sounding guitar solo and then back down again. This song is like a rollercoaster with a climb, a drop and plenty of loop de loops in-between.

This distressingly short EP then comes to an abrupt end with its final track “Magical Smile”. Owing more to a late 60s Rock sound, the chants of “Hey, hey, hey” beckon you into this staggered and zig-zagged Pop/Rock song. The instrumentation on this track is brilliant! Starting off like a Poppy XTC dreamscape and then evolving into more scratchy post-punk territory, along the lines of A Certain Ratio. There are some creepy ethereal synth lines on this track which are chilling during the post punk section, but inadvertently adds to the upbeat happy atmosphere that bookends the track as a whole.   

Overall, this release from Glass Angel is something that really grabbed me! The mix between celestial dark sounds and more buoyant and cheery hooks really makes this release refreshing and exciting. The band manage to capture the jolted aura of bands like the Talking Heads, but at the same time the darker avant-garde feel of the post-punk movement. The best way I could describe their music is like a happy version of the band Wire.  And trust me, that is not a bad thing at all!

“Fight or Nah” has already been released! You can check it out on their Bandcamp page. Follow Glass Angel on Facebook for future news and releases.

Mitchell Tennant – 18/09/2020

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