Glaze’s Wasted Mind is an Out of Body Experience in Musical Form

by Nick Hanover

Glaze Wasted Mind

I look out on a yard strewn with the detritus of the party from the night before. I am on my fourth cup of coffee. My body buzzes with energy it can’t process. My head throbs. I drink another cup of coffee. Thoughts ricochet uselessly in my head. The air is cool. Things are fine. I put on Glaze’s “No Surprises.” I drink another cup of coffee.

The sound of Glaze on Wasted Mind is the distillation of this overcaffeinated hangover- drums skitter and collapse, leaving syrupy guitar and floating monotone vocals to hold up the rhythm as loose concepts and potential and melodic distractions whoosh over head. It’s a record you put on when you want to feel nothing and everything at once, when dense lyrics would get in the way of the out of body experience only a wave of mutilated sound can provide.

Tellingly, “No Surprises,” Glaze’s most melodic moment, climaxes with a whirlwind of oohs and ahhs, warm as two hands cradling your cheeks. The rest of the track may be jagged and antagonistic but in its chorus it seeks to embrace, to soften its approach and mesmerize with unexpected beauty. “Mercury” stretches that lushness out for an entire song’s length, the sleepwalking vocals joined by guitars that alternately twinkle and explode, star life cycles in miniature musical form.

Glaze by no means solely rely on textural guitar and frenetic drumming, though. Wasted Mind more or less splits the difference between that approach and a more minimalist style with the bass at the forefront. With its skeletal guitar and more restrained drumming, “Who Can Say” opens the mix completely for the bass to do the bulk of the heavy lifting, in turn enabling the vocals to take back some of the melodic responsibility from the guitar. And though it’s curiously placed as the closer, “Chow Mein” feels like a hit, the bass sounding absolutely massive as it’s egged on by a dense floor tom beat and explosive bursts of guitar and feedback.

“Chow Mein” also proves that while there’s a disciplined consistency to Glaze’s overall sound, it’s nonetheless malleable, as capable of being applied to abstract, hazy post-punk as it is to crowd pleasing, catchy indie rock. Where other records stumble as they try desperately to say something, Wasted Mind succeeds because it only seeks to provoke a feeling without commenting on it or calling attention to it. Wasted Mind only asks that you stop thinking and accept whatever moods it instills, no matter how paradoxical they may seem.

Glaze play Hotel Vegas next Saturday, September 23rd.

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Nick Hanover got his degree from Disneyland, but he’s the last of the secret agents and he’s your man. Which is to say you can find his particular style of espionage here at Ovrld as well as Loser City, where he mostly writes about comics. You can also flip through his archives at  Comics Bulletin, which he is formerly the Co-Managing Editor of, and Spectrum Culture, where he contributed literally hundreds of pieces for a few years. Or if you feel particularly adventurous, you can always witness his odd .gif battles with his friends and enemies on twitter: @Nick_Hanover