I discovered The Glorious Sons with their single ‘S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun)’ and it didn’t take me much time after that to own their whole discography. I was immediately hooked by their honesty and their down to earth rock and roll sound. Vocally, Brett Emmons is everything I am looking for in a lead singer: he has the badass attitude, a unique voice and great meaningful lyrics. It was with great anticipation that I looked forward to the release of their third album ‘A War on Everything’. The album is now available and sadly I feel like they played this one a little bit safer than they had to. The music is still good and instrumentally it might even be one of their strongest effort, but it’s also lacking the edge that their previous material had.
When listening to the full album, it’s obvious why they chose ‘Panic Attack’ and ‘Pink Motel’ as singles. The two tracks are very strong, and I particularly love the bridge on the later. The songs are also quite different in style and they help illustrate The Glorious Sons’ versatility. I wouldn’t be surprised if these two became setlist standards from now on. ‘The Ongoing Speculation into the Death of Rock and Roll’ is also another highlight, with a good chorus and lyrics that quickly became personal favourites.
However, the rest of the album is a little bland. Even after listening to it a few times, most of the songs still didn’t leave any lasting impression on me. ‘I’m On Your Side’ is a bit repetitive and it’s missing a powerful bridge to elevate the tension before the return of the catchy chorus. Even the heavier ‘Wild Eyes’ is too chaotic to be appreciated to its fullest. A strong country influence can be heard on ‘Lean on Me Love’ with its excellent guitar solo that elevates the song to something more interesting. Sadly, it’s still not enough to make the track stand out. Most of the songs seem to have been designed with radio airplay in mind. ‘A War on Everything’ or even the catchy ‘Closer to the Sky’ are not bad, but they are just not memorable. I felt like this album could have been written by any another band with approximately the same result.
What saves the whole thing from being a total disappointment is the talent involved, and each musician seems to be giving their all. The piano is stronger here than it has ever been, Brett Emmons is always on point and there are a few interesting guitar riffs along the way. It’s simply missing that spark that made their early albums stand out. I am sure that ‘A War on Everything’ will help introduce The Glorious Sons to a lot of new fans, and for them the album will probably be good. This might have been their goal with this album, but I wish they had put a few nods for their older fans as well.