Glassjaw – “NewWhiteExtremity” Review

Posted: by Nick

Glassjaw is one of the few bands of their age that have managed to rise above the dense crop of similar post-hardcore outfits. In a moment (early 2000s) where chugging guitar riffs, crash hammering drumbeats, and sing-scream-sing vocals seemed omnipresent, Glassjaw carved out a place for themselves with unique and stylistically explorative music. This culminated on their 2002 album, Worship and Tribute, which many still hold to be a touchstone of the genre. After two EPs and a string of interviews rife with misinformation in the years since, Glassjaw have been on a halting but inevitable march towards some type of comeback. This single finally sees the band poised for a much anticipated full-length return.
“NewWhiteExtremity” is undeniably Glassjaw, and sounds like a cut that would fit well between Worship And Tribute and their previous full-length, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence. The composition itself is tightly knit and aggressive, though a bit straightforward, compensated by some delightfully messy production. The guitars are dense, the bass gritty, forming a wave of sound to match the drums, which are taking a relentless beating on this track. Front man Daryl Palumbo is back in good form, though screaming perhaps less than some diehards might hope. It’s nonetheless a pleasure to hear his distinct and esoteric style back on display.
The song seems to pull less from hardcore influences and more from seminal hard rock acts like Jane’s Addiction and Faith No More (who, for my money, have always been a clear influence on the band). The track clothes itself in menace, but underneath is a more simple rock tune than it may seem. “NewWhiteExtremity” shows a more mature Glassjaw at work, where the unleashed emotionality of their past is restrained in service of something more traditional.
While this song is less dynamically engaging and challenging than some of the band’s more highly regarded work, it is without a doubt a show of force that should get long-time fans excited for what comes next.