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Glassjaw is an enigma

January 29, 2010

"These jeans are too tiiiiiiight."

Glassjaw is a band that does whatever they want. They talk trash. They act however they want on stage. And a lot of the time, people wonder if they really care about their fans. It’s hard to think of another band that has so much consistent hype behind them, even though they haven’t released an album since 2002.

The band is driven by core members Daryl Palumbo and Justin Beck. They have released two full length albums, 2000’s Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence on Roadrunner Records and 2002’s Worship and Tribute on Warner Brothers. Both albums feature an aggressive style which defies a genre. They draw fans from all walks of life, from metal heads to pop-punk kids. And their live show is also one of the best you will ever see.

I remember being excited for a new album when I heard them play “Natural Born Farmer” at Warped Tour in 2003. That excitement was extinguished quickly when rumors started swirling about the band breaking up in 2004. I think everyone pretty much knew that this earth-shattering band was through. It seemed like the rise of Head Automatica would be the final nail in the coffin. Palumbo was no longer a straight edge icon, but a disco king. And Beck was concentrating on running the super-successful online merchandise store, MerchDirect.

Then, the band came out of retirement. I immediately bought tickets to see them at the Chicago House of Blues in December 2006 for their first show back in the Windy City. More new-album rumors were flying around than ever. Videos were circulating on the internet with the band playing new songs and talking about hitting the studio. Their ever-mysterious Myspace page had clips of drum loops and bass lines, hinting that they were recording, but nothing was set in stone.

So here we are. It’s 2010. Eight years after their last studio release. No one really knows what the band is doing. Reviews of their latest mini-tour with Brand New say their live shows are more like public band practices.

But, if you really think about it, what incentive does Glassjaw have to release a new album? They will always be popular. People will always buy their merchandise. And if they ever go on another tour, they will sell out every single date in every single city.

Beck is doing his own thing with MerchDirect. I mean look at the bands that use the site for their merchandise. Blue Oyster Cult! More cowbell please! Plus he’s married to MTV’s “Real World” alum Melissa Howard. What a life, right? And I’m sure Palumbo has made a ton of money from Head Automatica and he’s wrapped up in a million other projects.

But all hope should not be lost Glassjaw fans! Late last year, bassist Manny Carrero and drummer Durijah Lang left Saves the Day to devote all their concentration to Glassjaw. And yesterday, posted a video of the band playing a new song called “All Good Junkies Go to Heaven.”

When all is said and done, I will still love these guys, new album or not. They have changed the music scene and inspired thousands of musicians. And their iconic “GJ” logo will live on forever.

So Glassjaw, when you’re ready to make new music, go ahead. The ball is in your court. No pressure.

If you have never heard Glassjaw, you can hear both of their albums on their Myspace.

To end on a high note, here’s a new bootleg courtesy of AbsolutePunk.

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