Glowsun is an instrumental psychedelic band from Lille, France. They’re set to release their album “Beyond the Wall of Time” on the 26th of June.
Something that caught my attention is that they really, really like using the wah pedal. I’m totally okay with this, since this is a big thing in the genre. And as long as they use it creatively, and don’t use it as a crutch to sound like a psychedelic band, then they’re fine. And they are fine. They can be heard using it percussively, or as a sort of hissing sound to contrast the usual mellow, fuzzy tone of the guitar. Even outside of using wah, Glowsun creates a very interesting relationship between instruments and effects that allow them to feel very dense in their instrumentation while they’re really just a three piece band.
Like many psychedelic bands, they do a lot of their work vamping out on one idea for a while, and sort of stack different sub-ideas on top of it until they’ve morphed it enough to become a completely new idea. This has been something I’ve always enjoyed about this genre in general, as listening to one thing slowly become something that hardly resembles what it was before in such a short amount of time is a fascinating musical device. The band itself is pretty heavy for a psychedelic band, often using sudden bursts of dissonant pitches to keep you interested, or dropping out completely, creating a jarring silence that allows them to reiterate a theme they had been vamping on. It’s all pretty cool stuff.
There isn’t much that sets them apart from a lot of other bands in their genre, though. Which I suppose can be difficult to avoid considering the whole vamping aspect is so central to the genre. That being said, while all of the songs start differently, they tend to end up sounding very much the same. I’m usually very against this, but in the case of psychedelic rock, it’s just a very difficult thing to avoid. With the way the music is constantly changing and molding new sounds from itself, the songs adapt a sort of amorphous form and kind of melt together if you’re not completely attentive to the music. However, this is a big factor in my rating for this album: Glowsun could have used a different vamp rhythm every now and again. If you listen, pretty much every song features an eerily similar vamp section. While I understand that vamping in this genre is important, they could’ve been a little more inventive with it.
Having said all that, these guys do know what they’re doing. There’s no doubt that they completely understand the identity behind this genre. They’re a fine psychedelic rock band and if this is a genre you’re interested in, then I think you’ll find them to be perfectly enjoyable.
01. Arrow of Time
02. Last Watchmaker’s Grave
03. Behind the Moon
04. Flower of Mist
05. Shadow of Dreams
06. Against the Clock
07. Endless Caravan
Playing time: 46:45
Release date: 26th of June, 2015
Label: Napalm Records