Apr 2013 24

Glis - PhoenixGlis
Category: Industrial / EBM
Album: Phoenix
Stars: 3
Blurb: After a break of eight years and the apparent death of Glis, Shaun Frandsen takes us on a varied musical journey through his influences and inspirations.


It seems that the reports of Glis’ death were much exaggerated as, on his first such release in nearly eight years, Shaun Frandsen has paid homage to the music from his past and translated these influences into a varied and at times unusual album. The label blurb emphasizes its post-punk appeal but he actually incorporates a wide range of influences into the 14 original tracks, from the cosmic excursion that is “Watch Over You,” where the serene synths and expanded guitars take you off on a journey into space, through to the ‘70s style rock on “Keep the Memory,” which builds from an abstract opening into its laidback main theme that is embellished by treated saxophone before collapsing into a krautrock-like mélange of swirling, mutated sounds that resembles Faust and early Kraftwerk. Keeping with the ‘70s influence, “Seconds” sounds like a cross between Hawkwind’s Silver Machine, complete with VCS3-style synth gurgles, and Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” while “Death by Misadventure” seems to be made up of two unrelated pieces, starting out as a Tangerine Dream-like mix of pitch-bending synths, chords, and abstract overtones before transforming into an old-school flavored slice of industrial/electro. It’s an unusual mixture for one track to have but it keeps the listener guessing if nothing else. And just to underline the variety still further, “Coldheart Tempo” is given an almost surreal air by the mix of bittersweet pastoral electronica and abstract effects that come more to the fore as the track progresses. It’s a combination that shouldn’t work but does, wonderfully so in this case.

In places, he not only pays homage to the musical styles but sets them in the context of the memories they evoke. Witness the chaotic, constantly changing mix of styles that forms the opening “Apocalypse Parties,” which is a mix of lo-fi punk and up-tempo electro that transforms into a ‘90s style slice of electro. No doubt, these form the memories of parties he went to back in the day, although the Trashed version by Elliot Berlin, which is sort of tacked on at the end, comes closest to fulfilling that post-punk promise. Similarly, the scratch effects that evoke an old 78 on “Burned Up” and the projector sound that underscores “Reprise: The Way You’re Falling” undoubtedly make this an even more nostalgic trip for the artist. Elsewhere, there is more straightforward musical homage such as the soft rock of “Blue Sky Night,” which seems to indicate our fella was a bit of a Pat Benatar fan at one stage, or “Take It This Far,” which evokes the shoegazing styles of the ‘90s with some effective vocals from Lauren Krothe, whose contribution proves another ace in the hole as she puts in an ethereal Kate Bush-like performance on “Stars in the Sea” where the waves mix with a dreamlike musical palette to create a wonderfully sublime piece with a slightly offbeat air that really evokes its title. But if you just fancy an infectious danceable number, then look no further than the preceding “Crush,” which evokes the ‘80s styles with another hint of psychedelia for good measure.

While this is no doubt an album that means a great deal to the artist, the fact that it is so deeply personal and contains such a wide range of styles might cause some feelings of bemusement for anybody else, but it is a novel and intriguing release that if nothing else proves Shaun Frandsen is a man of taste!
Track list:

  1. Apocalypse Parties
  2. Insomniac
  3. Dead Set 7am
  4. Keep the Memory
  5. Death by Misadventure
  6. Burned Up
  7. Seconds
  8. Coldheart Tempo
  9. Reprise: The Way You’re Falling
  10. Take It This Far
  11. Watch Over You
  12. Blue Sky Night
  13. Crush
  14. Stars in the Sea
  15. Apocalypse Parties (Trashed by Elliot Berlin)

Glis MySpace http://www.myspace.com/shaunfrandsen
Glis Facebook http://www.facebook.com/glis.music
Alfa Matrix Website http://alfa-matrix.com
Alfa Matrix MySpace http://www.myspace.com/alfamatrix
Alfa Matrix Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Alfa.Matrix
Alfa Matrix Twitter http://twitter.com/alfamatrix
Purchase at:
Amazon CD (Standard)
Amazon CD (Deluxe)
Amazon MP3
Carl Jenkinson (carlj)

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