In their latest EP, Boston-based rockers Where’s Gladys present us with 5 tracks that have the emotional nature of indie rock and the raw unfiltered grit of garage rock. The album’s artwork is creative and creates a sense that the record will be so too, so allow me to dissect it for you and tell you what these tracks have to offer.
The first (and longest) track, Out Of Air, has cool clean guitars, mature-sounding vocals that are mostly sung in the chest register, and a bassline that makes you feel the song was written in a friendly jamming session between the band members. The track is deceptively simple, wherein every listen you discover new elements that make it grow on you more. It’s a great choice to be the opening track because of how well it represents that mix of the “garage band” aesthetic with the “experienced rockstars” one. The instrumental section with the tremolo picking in the song’s midsection was a very pleasant surprise that made me repeat the track one too many times to enjoy how cool they transitioned into it.
The second track, Time Stopped, is for those of you who are fans of Arctic Monkeys, except it has a much darker and more dramatic than said band. I really love the guitar refrain that they used as a hook/chorus here and how well it matches the dystopian lyrics. Again these guys keep things spicy and unpredictable, with a guitar solo that’s highly melodic followed by some word painting and harmonics during the last chorus- a very upbeat ending for a song with such dramatic lyrics. Let That Set In, is a power ballad with a lead piano melody and some clean guitars. The somber mood of the song makes the drums feel more powerful and hard-hitting, and the overall vibe of the song is reminiscent of a 70s bluesy number with an improvised guitar solo that flaunts the lead guitarist’s impeccable skills.
So Insecure is very melodic with the vocal harmonies and the tone of the guitars. Something about the basslines reminded me a bit of Aerosmith, but then the guitar solo with the thunderous drums behind it made me feel like Where’s Gladys have now got their own style and sound fingerprint that will someday be instantly recognizable to all the fans. The fifth and final track, Sleepwalk is another slow number with a very experimental sound compared to the other tracks. I really love how the guitars were folky in the beginning but gained melody as the track progressed. The vocals are also very different on this one and they focus on a more emotional and breathy low range, which made the song all the more memorable.
All in all, this is a great breakthrough record for the band, in my opinion, and it’s also a great way to show that not every indie record has to dismiss melody, and similarly not every garage rock band has got to be super melodic and verse-chorus-verse all the time. The way this record blends a lot of these elements together and manages to make ends meet is such a charmer on its own, and the many elements it makes use of will make you want to give it a lot of spins to digest all of its amazing sounds.