Gunn-Truscinski Duo have been gracing the pages around here for some time — a perennial favorite that finds Steve Gunn at his most bracing, tangling with his foil-in-rhythm, John Truscinski. So too, has Bill Nace been a fixture, from works with Chris Forsyth and Kim Gordon, to his own solo shreddings on taishōgoto. The latter instrument finds its way into the mix here, though in a much more delicate fashion than Nace has wielded it in the past. That delicacy is a prevailing theme in the album. The opener, “Entrance” feels like it might be the portal to punishment, or at least leading to some sort of scathing noise, as it ramps up to a peak. Instead, the trio find a balance between queasiness and calm.
Anxious overtones hint at forgotten ghosts beneath the floorboards of their sound on songs like “Venus” and “Tape.” Elsewhere the trio’s works hover in an uneasy peace. “On Lamp” revels in fingerwork and float — a piece that’s wrapped in cold humidity. Some dissonance seeps in on “Corner Dogs,” but the band remains restrained, coiled and calm, despite the aural itch. The tension builds to “Fencer,” the album’s heaviest moment — nearly twelve minutes of seething growl — but even within that framework the band still never boils over. The tension evaporates by the time they reach the end, a gorgeous closer that finds Gunn and Nace trading trills and languid strums. Glass Band defies expectations and works for mood over virtuosity (though there’s plenty of the latter built into their restraint.) The record transports the listener through tension and subtle inner turmoil, an album on eggshells rendered in glowing hues.
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