EP: Glass-Beagle – Spring Sword Chatter

This is a deliberate collision of worlds- but it’s not some polyglossic identity crisis – the curiously named Glass-Beagle, the Chicago-based, alt-country five-piece, bring a finely judged precision to their juxtapositions. They pour on a lot of the nourishment a country band might offer – all twang and shuffle, steel guitar moaning and mandolin dancing along nicely; but that familiar set of sounds rests its head on a very different shoulder. Vocally, although there are echoes of 60s harmony-driven pop-rock at times, there’s also something much closer to emo-indebted power-pop too, and the guitars are oft-tempted to veer into fuzzed-up, country rock territory. But these collisions work well and allow for different atmospheres to be shaped. A self-recorded affair, Spring Sword Chatter was put to tape at the band’s practice space and this allows for a live feel to creep in at the edges – it also sounds like a lot of fun was had in the process. 

The musicianship is tight throughout: indeed, Glass-Beagle feel like a band that would be a highly enjoyable live experience- but they do allow things to get a little jagged at times too. Waiting for the Lizard for example builds and builds – full of growing distortion and odd, 70s rock evoking electric noodling. Occasional breaks in the sound wall that is created, allow them to play engagingly with shifting sonic dynamics; they also allow Michael Conway’s pedal steel to fully shine out- and that is a beautiful thing. 

Its country-rock aesthetic feels nostalgic and ties the listener to since-passed sound memories. But that’s no bad thing. Spring Sword Chatter offers a clear and inviting window into Glass-Beagle’s world. Though not deviating drastically from a familiar sonic space, they’ve certainly produced a carefully crafted e.p that is well worth a listen.

Written by M.A Welsh (Misophone)

Music | Misophone (bandcamp.com)