The Glasspack - "American Exhaust"
(River Rock Records 2001, RR001CD)
From Aural Innovations #17 (September 2001)
The Glasspack are Brett Holsclaw - Drums, Zach Dorsett - Bass, Andy Garrett - Guitar, and Dave Johnson - Vocals & Guitar and Murphy - Security. Their place of habitation is Louisville KY; their music is hard & fast, loud & powerful. It is created and performed with passion and is filled with a raw energy that makes them stand out just as much as other bands who are ranked in this genre of music.
I can hear an influence that sways towards early 70's Heavy Metal like Uriah Heap & Judas Priest, maybe Black Sabbath in certain songs, and I also can hear slight hints of later era bands such as Motorhead possibly, and in a way Monster Magnet could be mentioned. However after all these possibilities the bottom line is 'The Glasspack have a sound and style all of their own'. A sound that enfolds around you as you listen to it making you realise that there are still bands out there that can actually play Shit Kicking Heavy Rock and do it justice. The Glasspack to me are one of these bands.
The opening track 'Hall of the Mountain Speedlab' is a Phased/Flanged lead driven instrumental freak out. It is a strong opener and has everything that appeals to those of us who love good jam orientated structures. On this track we have a line up change of Chris Matthews on Bass and Brian Foor on Drums, together they form a good solid powering rhythm that stretches out to mingle with the spaced Guitar lines. A Good hectic jam piece.
'Smut' and 'Shut up & Ride' are both songs that edge towards Metal/Rock with an early 70's feel to them whilst 'Whiskey House' edges towards the heavy roadhouse type song. Its driven feel seems to sound almost bluesish but not quite. Half way through the Drums and Bass drop down into a slower tempo to produce great backing rhythms for a wah wah Lead Guitar break that climbs high over the mix.
'Powerbait' sounds very Monster Magnet to me; it lasts just over three minutes and is another good instrumental piece. The structure is less of a jam, more of a well-worked track. Good Sound.
'One Kentucky Night' has elements of Motorhead about it until the Vocals Enter the picture. 'Jim Beam and Good Green' is a slow drone type Heavy Metal instrumental. Great guitar work again and the weird speaking part at the beginning reminded of Cliff Burton's narration on Metallica's 'To Live is to Die' in feeling only, not in content.
The album ends with a track called 'Sunday Afternoon'. It is one of those here's a two minute odd Intro to a song that starts after ten minutes of silence in the middle type crack. It is a great song with plenty of energy, which is what I like about this band. Every member plays his part with passion. In my eyes this album should have been longer, at just 39.10 in length with almost 10 minutes of silence. So in reality it is under 30 minutes. Nonetheless The Glasspack to me are well worth a listen if you are looking for Heavy Shit Kicking songs with Punchy Bass and Drum Rhythms, Hard distorted Guitar work, Energy filled Vocals and Freaked out Lead Riffs.
I think that American Exhaust is a very fine album that is well played and is very well produced. I've listened to it quite a few times and have played it to several people who have also liked it. I hope you will as well.
For more information you can email The Glasspack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Riverock Records at 135 Vernon Ave; Louisville, KY 40206. Or by email at email@example.com.
Reviewed by Albert Pollard