The Gloria Record
Wed May 15
Meow Meow

Rising from the ashes of those loveable, emotional diary-keepers, Mineral, The Gloria Record were one of many "ex-members of" bands to take form in the indie scene during the late '90s. After a couple EPs ranging from sub-par to moderately promising, the band took nearly a year to record their first proper full-length, Start Here--a record so layered in sound and texture that by the album's dramatic conclusion you feel downright exhausted.

The Gloria Record did more than just grow up; they completely shed their skin and started anew. The traditional rock band setup takes a back seat on this record. Instead, it's handily replaced by a flat-out stunning mixture of keyboard-heavy rhythms, pounding drums, and delicate vocals that teeter the line between whine and wail. Start Here's strongest song, "I Was Born in Omaha," opens with whispered vocals and ends in a cacophony of blurred piano notes, a theme the band stays consistent to on the remainder of the record.

In fact, the greatest career move The Gloria Record ever made was shedding their long-time Emo moniker and moving on with their music. It might seem foolish now, considering that Emo is wearing the albatross of "next big thing," but according to the band, they just wanted to "clear the decks of all the ideas we had been working on," and move on with their sound.

The only similarities still present from their days as Emo-torch bearers is vocalist Chris Simpson's angelic voice, which still sounds like that of a depressed choirboy. But these longtime comparisons are something the band wants nothing to do with; they've been quite proud of the fact that they have stripped themselves clean of their previous efforts (refusing to be billed as "ex-Mineral" on show flyers is a good example of that). Instead, they've made substantial ground in a new direction, so when this "next big thing" hype crashes and burns like it always does, The Gloria Record will still be standing tall.