By Gabe Vodicka
Each year in Athens, Ga., hundreds of bands are born, and almost as many die. It is a multitudinous, oceanic sort of ebb and flow one which leaves countless musical specimens washed ashore, hopelessly and helplessly beached, only to inevitably be forgotten amid all the sweet new jams being kicked out at any given moment.
Once, there existed a group of several young gentlemen/music nerds, and they called themselves the Glands, and they were good. Specifically, their second, self-titled album was, and is, good. So good, in fact, it's counted by many of Athens' more lauded, established musicians as being one of The Best Records that town has ever produced, Elephant 6 be damned.
Listening to The Glands now is a blissful, compelling experience. The years (nine of them, to be exact) have been kind to this album in a way usually not seen among music of its type; much of the earnest, shimmery indie-pop created in the 1990s now sits, crumpled in the corner, twee and dated. The Glands showcases an effortless brand of floaty, tight pop-rock which seems to hover, as a ghost, on one track, then throw a staunch, exacting aural punch on the next. Rather than succumb to the dreaded indie-fad-malaise of the aughts (dance punk, anyone?), the music is tireless and timeless. It will bury in your skull and set up camp, and you will not mind a bit. You will love it.
Hyperbole aside, it's damn true that this record flat-out kills. Check out the unabashed, Beatles-cribbing piano bounce of "Swim" and tell me you don't want to just squeal. Listen to the inanely wonderful "Straight Down," with its talk of ladies with tomato-colored poodles and such, and try to figure out what the hell it means. (Hint: who cares.) It is one of that strange group of albums which, though neglected and overlooked by a vast many, is as equally and fervently revered by a passionate few, and with good reason. It's a doozy; it's a pop gem. It deserves its moment in the spotlight, finally.
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