The Royal Thousand
01. White Flag
02. If He Dies, He Dies
03. Falling In Style
04. Ivy & Wine
05. Prelude For A Ghost
06. All Along
07. She Is Well And Nothing Can Be Ill
08. Counting Sheep
10. From May To Now
[Equal Vision/Basick Records]
Waiting for The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza’s Danza IV is killing many of us, and unfortunately it seems like that wait is going to last a while longer. It’s no secret that Josh Travis is an absolute madman on a guitar, and his insane style is well intact on Glass Cloud’s debut album The Royal Thousand. While keeping his crazy Danza chops much more restrained on this album, he still shows what it is that brought him into the internet’s spotlight. The Royal Thousand offers some of Josh’s catchiest and experimental work yet. The addition of Jerry Roush (of Sky Eats Airplane and Of Mice And Men fame) on vocals adds an interesting level of depth that TTDTE didn’t have.
While Jerry’s vocals may be quite an acquired taste for many, they do fit the music very well. Unfortunately, his clean vocals are also the biggest downfall to the album. Many times sounding very phoned in, as if there was no motivation to record his own vocal parts. For example, during the track ‘She Is Well And Nothing Can Be Ill’ — which happens to be one of the most diverse and experimental tracks on the album, instantly invoking an Animals As Leaders vibe with the intro guitar riffs — Jerry gives a lackluster performance over Josh’s stellar guitar playing. Quickly showing more confidence in his vocal ability when the harsher bits come in.
The album’s production is very interesting as well. Employing the infamous Will Putney (Structures, For Today, Molotov Solution) to mix and master the album was an interesting but smart choice. Anyone who has followed Josh’s work on Soundcloud knows that he has a love of a very strong, almost hip-hop like bass guitar. The album’s low end is accented in a very different way than most metal albums are. You can easily make out everything going on in all the guitar layers and the drums hit with some serious power. The guitar tone also sits very true to Josh’s preference of a twangier sound, which helps keep the definition of some of the extremely low 9 string guitar parts scattered throughout the album, such as the second track and single ‘If He Dies, He Dies’.
The songs themselves are mostly composed in a very standard intro-verse-chorus-verse-bridge fashion, with some tracks changing it up and showing quite a bit of progression. ‘Memorandum‘ opens with bassist Travis Sykes and drummer Chad Hasty grooving along for a bit, adding on layers of guitars as it goes on until it opens into an all out assault on your ears. I do wish more of the songs experimented more with song structure, but once again, Josh’s guitar playing is enough to keep even the same old structure formula interesting from beginning to end.
If you were looking for the next TTDTE album, look elsewhere because Glass Cloud is a beast of its own. While the sometimes lacking vocals do drag this otherwise stellar album down at points, it was never enough to turn me away from listening over and over. I look forward to what Josh Travis and the rest of the band have in store for us on future releases, especially with the fate of Danza in such a state of limbo.
Glass Cloud – The Royal Thousand gets…