No Glue - No Glue

Year of Release: 1999
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:37:00

At the same time I was listening to McGill/Manring/Stevens, and thinking of how popular instrumental trios are becoming, I was listening to this four-track disc from Vermont's No Glue, who are also a trio -- though, of course, I wasn't listening simultaneously. This self-titled album consists of 3 jazzy, live improvisations; the fourth track is an odd, spoken word piece where a listener proves just how much he doesn't "get it."

This trio is Stacy Starkweather on bass and "disturbances - right channel," Gabe Jarrett on drums and "'unusual' beats," and Greg Matses on guitar synthesizer and guitar (left channel). In the first five minutes of the 23-minute plus opener "No Preconceptions," it sure sounds like piano or keys ought to be on the equipment list, but none is specifically mentioned. Which leaves the guitar synthesizer that also seems to emit some sax-like honks midway through the track; later we hear flute-like tones (which sound vaguely patriotic). Starkweather's tones are often fat, yet taut -- the fat is muscle, you see. Jarrett plays as if two of him were there, as so much of the kit is used. The liner notes state that the performances were recorded "over the course of our first three shows." These were captured in late 1998 and early 1999. Tracks two, "Broken Candle," and three, "Sandbox," are each more than 13 minutes in length. So, you get your money's worth, that's for sure. Percussion takes a much more prominent role overall on "Broken Candle," though the track doesn't lack for guitar and effects, some down right otherworldly (second time I've heard that today -- see my MMS review). Here again we get some flute-like tones. "Sandbox," is heavier, beginning with booming percussion blended with very fat bass tones. Matses comes in with some angular, blues guitar -- I thought a bit of the Yardbirds and specifically of Clapton, if either were more avant-garde and less psyche. Actually, what kept coming to mind was the Zombies' "Time Of The Season." If you keep an odd-timed version of that in mind, you'll have the undertone of this track, over which Matses guitar blurts and bleats. At least for the first third of the track. We get martial percussion and otherwordly effects at five minutes in which devolves into something very abstract...and harsh. It is this very thing that makes this my favorite of the three pieces. I've never taken any mind-altering drugs, but I imagine this is the sonic equivalent as notes bend and contort into shapes that don't occur in nature (so to speak), perhaps in colors never before imagined. Whatever is happening in this "Sandbox," it sounds like they're having a great deal of fun.

Sometimes, lengthy noodling can get boring, especially if the artists go to much inside themselves without bringing their audience along. I don't feel that to be the case with No Glue. The music has enough shifts in tone and texture to keep you listening to find out where they are going next ... despite the contradictory conclusion drawn in the last track. Next is, of course, their follow up release from 2000 called Higher Ground, also a disk of live improvs.

Check 'em out.

No Preconceptions (23:20) / Broken Candle (13:07) / Sandbox (13:34) / "It's good, but it did kinda Suck" (3:32)

Stacy Starkweather - bass, 'disturbances - right channel'
Greg Matses - guitar synthesizer, guitar - left channel
Gabe Jarrett - drums, 'unusual' beats

No Glue (1999)
Higher Ground (2000)
Signal To Noise ... 3/23/00 (2000)

Genre: Fusion-Jazz Fusion

Origin US

Added: September 24th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Hits: 702
Language: english


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