"Backroads to Byzantium"

By The Sun Jester

The fourth album from Irish hard rockers Glyder opens with the thunderous, chugging "Chronicled Deceit". In 2011, it is fantastic to hear a band wearing its influences on its sleeve while embracing modern production values and sensibilities. The twin guitar attack switches from a gritty, blues-soaked attack to a melodic approach that sticks in your memory. Des McEvoy's drumming grabs my attention. Too many hard rock and metal drummers play with power but could not swing from a rope. McEvoy swings and propels the songs along with superior drumming. Glyder shifts gears with the up-tempo "Long Time Gone". The band pulls off the trick of writing songs with mass appeal while still holding onto their hard rock credentials. The brooding "Fade to Dust" tackles the subject of mortality and the passage of time. Vocalist Jackie Robinson shines and the guitar solo sends the song to another level. It captures the universal confusion, anger, defiance, and fear we feel when facing our own mortality. "Even If I Don't Know Where I'm Gonna Go" sports another great chorus and conjures up echoes of Uriah Heep and Thin Lizzy. The first four songs of this album are solid rock and roll and draw the listener in with their combination of accessibility and soul.

"Don't Make Their Mistake" is a strong number. Lead singer Jackie Robinson delivers the song's message, never compromising your beliefs and being willing to fight for them, with passion and conviction.  The mood fits in with the preceding songs. This album is dark and intense, despite the soaring guitars, and depicts the world in a realistic manner. There are no wizards, rainbows, or mystical gypsy women in this music. Through their songs, Glyder gives us a realistic picture of the world. The next song, "Down and Out", depicts a once prosperous man left homeless on the streets. The song weaves a thick atmosphere of regret and sorrow. The guitar solo, tinged with wah-wah, is outstanding.  Glyder knows how to build a song. While it is not a revolutionary technique, notice how the band brings this song full circle by closing when they return to the soft sounds heard at the beginning. "Something She Knows" sees the band making another big stylistic shift. The song seems ideal for radio with its energetic and bright music and it embraces mainstream music even more completely than "Long Time Gone". It is a bit light for your humble reviewer, but once again, the band shows they are not content to be pigeonholed. We find ourselves standing in familiar territory with the next song, "Two Wrongs". The song opens with a great guitar riff and has a strong, up-tempo chorus. "End of the Line" is a dark number concerning itself with the environment and warning of dire consequences for our continued inaction. This song is a bit short for me and seems under-developed, but another terrific guitar solo and tight, straight-ahead drumming redeem its shortcomings. The album's closing song, "Motions of Time", is the best stylistic shift on this album. Setting their electric guitars aside, the band picks up their acoustics. The song shows their versatility as musicians and, once again, their innate gift for songwriting and structure. This is the perfect song to close the album.

 Glyder deserves every word of critical acclaim they have received in their brief existence. If you like passionate, focused, and creative hard rock bands, Glyder is a band for you. With albums such as this, Glyder is destined for a long and memorable career.