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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Glyder - "Backroads to Byzantium" album review

Glyder - "Backroads to Byzantium" album review
Released on: SPV/Steamhammer Records. Release Date: Available now.

OK, confession time, as this one did get put a little …, well …, a lot on the backburner, as the opening two tracks here took me a little getting into and I wasn’t liking them as much as previous Glyder material I’ve heard.
This is 'Backroads to Byzantium' the latest album from Glyder.
Did you folks realise that this is the fifth album from these guys?!
Of course that’s an absolutely stupid question to fans of the band, but to other rockers out there ..., take note!
The Irish rockers have often been compared to Irish legends Thin Lizzy - Now regulars know why I'm checking this out, right?! - and at times I do hear that, but I hear a lot of other influences too, many others …
The band consists of: Jackie Robinson (Vocals), Bat Kinane (Guitars / B.Vocals), Pete Fisher (Guitars), Graham McClatchie (Bass) and Des McEvoy on Drums.
Newest member, singer Jackie Robinson does well as the bands frontman and certainly deserves praise for his contributions here.
Opening track, ‘Chronicled Deceit,’ rocks pretty good, but it was lacking a certain something for me, it’s since grown on me.

‘Long Gone’ up next – And you may think this strange – but it reminds me a little of a mix of say early Diamond Head meets Mr Big musically - I know, strange conclusion, but listen to it ... - and then throw in some backing Hammond organ.
At times vocalist Robinson reminds me of Spin Doctors singer Chris Barron, which sometimes throws a little different slant on some of the material presented here.

On ‘Fade to Dust’ it’s a really up tempo rocker, but not too hard / heavy rocking, that hints through the guitar of those Lizzy comparisons previously afforded the band, but song wise it’s really not, but ... I think you'll hear what I'm saying. 
‘Even If I Don’t know Where I’m Going Go’ also starts with that Lizzy type harmony guitar and then gets into a great kind of pop rocker track, that deserves to be a hit. It has a lot of influences scattered in there and hooks too ..., seriously, it's great!

OK now a lot more of the Lizzy influence is becoming apparent ‘On Don’t Make Their Mistakes’ in the song structure and I now the album is really getting through to me! In fact there’s moments where it almost sounds the chords structure of (Iron) Maiden’s ‘Run To The Hills’ … What?! Well, I don’t know, but it really did make me think of it for a moment or two!
‘Down and Out,’ I really can’t think to compare to anything as it has a certain dark, almost melancholy element about it and moments where it’s a little like some of the experimental material you’d hear from (Led) Zeppelin. Different …

OK, now we get back on track with the right tempo in ‘Something She Knows,’ and I really love the groove that this track has and there’s hooks here too that yell out ‘release me as a single!’ It’s a catchy little number indeed.
You know what’s funny? I hear keyboards all over the album in different places, but in the press release with the album, there’s no one credited with the keyboards? I have to say, they really do help make this album though.
Love the guitar solo on this track, awesome, yes really!

‘Two Wrongs’ has a darker, dirtier sound to it at the start, to get back to the more hard rock edge that the band touches on and then it grabs a hook line or two as it hits the chorus. There’s tempo changes up and down here that kind of remind me of the Spin Doctors again, with Robinson phrasings. Another really sweet guitar solo piece here too.

Oh yeah! ‘End of the Line’ starts strong, then eases back momentarily before getting back on track with the rockin’ and there’s some really great moments about this track. Very strong generally although the second vocal in the chorus seems a little odd and took a little getting used to but then once the guitar solo rips in … These guys have won me over!

Final album track is ‘Motions of Time’ which is an acoustic, well, kind of deep emotive, dare I say depressing number if the truth be known. Strange choice of closer perhaps …

So, it’s an album that’s a grower, more so with the opening track at least for me, then the sound seems a little different than earlier Glyder material, but then it clicked. Still not so sure on that final track though …
Overall it’s an album I do like a lot and would strongly recommend.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Official band website:

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