I hate to say it, but I am old enough to remember that MTV used to be a cable channel that actually had music-related programming. I seldom watch the channel now that I am also old enough to not really care or like its current reality-heavy programming.
Listening to Danish/American trio Gliss‘ Langsom Dans made me nostalgic for that bygone era when my parents listed MTV as a restricted channel, but I think it had more to do with the sexual content than the playing of satan’s music (though to be fair they didn’t really like rock very much either).
I guess they believed music should be always uplifting and positive, or at least sound uplifting and positive (disclosure: my parents were John Denver fans). That’s not to say the Gliss’ third full-length album isn’t uplifting or positive, it’s just that my parents probably wouldn’t have gotten into it and probably would have asked me to change the channel.
Before Langsom Dans, there were widespread comparisons to Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine, and the band still makes true to those influences and relationships. The trio (Martin Klingman, Victoria Cecilia, David Reiss) is mellower and subdued this time around with few, if any, harsh riffs, that instead yield to long atmospheric crescendos and lingering reverbs.
The anthemic cries on “A To B” are haunting and seemingly echo endlessly. Sonic dreamscapes resonate throughout the album, though there is noticeable contrast in styles between the two vocal leads. It only seems dour on tracks that don’t feature Cecilia’s vocals; “Into The Water” would be almost indistinguishable from the subsequent “Weight Of Love” if not for Cecilia’s Nina Gordon-like (co-founder of Veruca Salt) calming voice on the latter track.
At this point of the album, the music sounds like it’s on cruise control, as “Blur” and “Hunting” feel like repeats. “Waves” could easily be in the same boat, but the strings are surprisingly pleasant and a welcome change from the progressively moody mixes on earlier tracks. Unfortunately, “The Sea Tonight” is easily the best song on the album; the up-tempo seaside pop sound is so inviting with its positivity and energy (with lyrics like “I know your heart will always be all right … all right”) that it makes the rest of the album seem so dreary in comparison.
That’s not to say that Langsom Dans isn’t a worthwhile listen; it is, but as Gliss got going I guess I was expecting something more and different. I guess times do change.