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Review: The Glacier Effect – ‘False Memories’

by admin August 26, 2020

Review: The Glacier Effect – ‘False Memories’

Created in 1993, The Glacier Effect has been the solo musical endeavour of Jason McCann for well over two decades now. A self-taught multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and graduate of the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences, McCann first started his musical career with his high-school band, The Exit, a group of friends who ran through cover versions of songs by the Cure, U2, The Smiths, and Nirvana.

In 1992, McCann began to write original material for Sleep Deprivation, one of his earliest musical projects. Sleep Deprivation set the standard for McCann, bringing to life his talents for intertwining guitar melodies with intricate drum machine programming, intense guitar riffs, and waves of distorted vocal tracks. In the years that followed, McCann refined and expanded his sound, bringing in new influences and finalising what was to ultimately become the sound of The Glacier Effect.

After stints in bands like Denny and The Foreskins, children’s music group, Oh-He-He, and the Americana punk band Two-Bi Ethyl, McCann knew it was time to focus solely on The Glacier Effect, leading us ‘False Memories’, his fourth full-length release.

Taking leads from some familiar influences, ‘False Memories’ incorporates elements of shoegaze, indie rock, goth, darkwave, and 90's alt. rock to create a unique and untainted vision of McCann’s own making. Opening with ‘Fireworks in September’, the album set’s the tone immediately, offering a rolling wave of subtle textures and sonic guitar chords. It’s a track that evolves slowly, building through layers of repetition, cycling through ever-increasing levels of dense atmospherics that are driven forward into the light through McCann’s unrelenting guitar. A perfect illustration of what’s to come, ‘Fireworks in September’ is on of the most impressive instrumental openings to an album you’ll find all year.

‘Sleep. Dream’ is another tracking of drone sonic soundscapes, and while not as immediately impressive as its predecessor, it finds its sound in solemn lingering tones, before ‘Street Drugs’ charges into the picture with some Iggy and The Stooges’ style guitar work. It’s an explosive sound, one with plenty of grunt, energy, and appeal, and one of the album’s real highlights. By the closing fade of ‘Your Mind’s Got A Face’, it’s clear that McCann’s strength lies in his guitarwork. Every track is built around the tactile sounds he creates through the guitar, with all other instrumentals serving to extend and influences the central sound, bringing it from a single, evolving soundscape into a lavish world of progressive rock sounds.

Seventh track ‘Downpour’ seamlessly blends the sounds of nature with a heavy, almost grunge feel, instantly becoming one of the most impressive tracks on the album, while the title track slows the tempo and brings you back into a dreamy world of fading textures and transient musical notes. Eventually, the album closes with ‘The Launch’, a track that draws instant comparisons to Public Service Broadcasting’s stellar album, ‘The Race For Space’.

A rich tapestry of sounds, influences, and genres, ‘False Memories’ is an album that perfectly blends careful orchestration with an unshakable, organic energy that ties it all together. Each track shines with it’s own character, while also further adding to overarching narrative of the album. It’s a magical thing, and a rare quality in a modern release, something that makes ‘False Memories’ all the more brilliant.

You can stream ‘False Memories’ in full on Soundcloud above, or head on over to The Glacier Effect’s official Bandcamp page to grab your own copy.

Score: 8.5/10

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