Oh, I don’t care what your favorite Glass Hammer album is. This one is mine!
Chronomonaut is a magnificent achievement. I was not prepared to love this album as much as I do. But truly, resistance is futile. This is quite simply, in my opinion, the finest prog statement Glass Hammer has ever made.
And they were albe to make it because, rather than be complacent or predictable, they decided to take risks and blaze an adventurous trail instead. Not only that, they dared to face, head on, their fans’ own penchant for nostalgia, by choosing to confront it in themselves as well, and to overcome and transform it by means of an unexpected, thoughtfully coherent artistic reckoning.
The two tracks that instantly won me over were “Roll for Initiative” (propelled by the mightiest bass playing I have heard since Chris Squire) and “Blinding Light” (with its truly fantastic horn arrangements, which I now think should become a Glass Hammer signature).
Soon enough I was quickly subdued by the devastating thematic track “The Past is Past,” and then the totally rockin’ “A Hole in the Sky,” and then the righteously sprawling album closer “Fade Away.” What feats of musicianship, what joys to savor!
Further still, sprinkled like extra treats at an already lavish banquet, are the quirky instrumentals which stand out with exceptional prog cred, as independently stimulating in their own right: “Clockwork,” “It Always Burns Sideways,” and “Tangerine Meme.” I always look forward to each one of them, and I dare anybody to call such fascinating tracks “filler.”
Finally, Susie’s vocal contributions add another dazzling dimension to the whole proceedings, with the diverse scenes painted by “Twilight of the Godz,” “1980 Something,” and “Melancholy Holiday” constituting definitive proof of the musical richness that Glass Hammer can pack into one glorious album.
If you haven’t picked this one up, don’t miss it. One of the year’s most thrilling albums awaits you. You will find resistance is futile: you will be air drumming, or playing air guitar, and saluting Glass Hammer as you join in the rockin’ republic of prog.