Album Review: Glocca Morra - 'Just Married'

16 July 2012 | 12:20 am | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Pure poetry - plus shouting.

Encompassing a sense of absurdity is sort of a prerequisite when it comes to me liking your band. Maybe this is why I enjoy Pennsylvania indie punks Glocca Morra so much – besides the obvious reason of, you know, connecting with their music or whatever. Just Married, Glocca Morra’s latest record, is more accomplished than the bulk of their previous work, while retaining the endearing ridiculousness that seems evident in everything they do. Upon first listen, Just Married has a sloppy, incoherent feel to it, with its 11 tracks almost blending together to create the illusion of one, 33-minute song; however, it’s after several listens that the intricacies of the album really become apparent.

Y’all Boots Hats? (Die Angry)’ is a perfect opener, contrasting melancholy lyrics with an uplifting beat. ‘Irrevocable, Motherfucker’ follows; musically interesting in parts, specifically when the horns enter towards the song’s end, but overall it’s something of a meandering mess. The album immediately picks up on ‘Hot & Informed’, with sophisticated guitar work combatting screeching vocals.

The similarly delightful shouting makes up for the lack of a defined chorus on ‘Anniversary Song’, aside from the repetition of "ten years down the drain", and the stinging pain is enough to solidify the track as an album highlight. ‘Why Am I Not Going Under Walter?’ is also worth mentioning favourably, despite its frenzied tone and lack of direction.

My Black Dog/Cosmic Being’ sees Glocca Morra slightly reign in their manic musical tendencies to produce a relatively simple and focused tune. On the flipside, but no less joy-inducing, ‘Broken Cigarettes’ is a frantic 3-minute journey, alternating between heavy guitar, delicate organ and shimmery xylophone-laced melodies.

Eat the Fucking Snow’ effortlessly encapsulates the desperation of loneliness, both musically and lyrically, telling an intimate story from start to finish. The song begins whimsically, leading into an upbeat shout-along chorus, before a gradual decline in tempo. Slowly, the track withers away into emptiness, becoming nothing more than gentle guitar, sleigh bells and sporadic xylophone, accompanied by trembling Conor Oberst style vocals.

I’m a sucker for a decent hook, and Glocca Morra’s blatant disrespect for traditional song structure offers me nothing in that regard; yet the fact that this doesn’t bother me is a real testament to their talent. Just Married is a genuinely special album, from a uniquely talented band. While there are clearly outside influences on this record, most notably in the form of Algernon Cadwallader’s ‘The Stars’, Glocca Morra have largely been able to achieve an inimitable sound, and musically, have reached new heights. In addition, for a band whose song titles – more profanity-packed than ever – suggest an innate silliness, their lyrics read like poetry, relatable and achingly sincere.