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Love the Virgins

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Album Review

Once upon a time, Gliss were a four-piece band, plying atmospheric indie rock to an LA environs swamped with such things. They could've disappeared into the ether, barely leaving a trace, but instead the lineup splintered, and a far more magnificent Gliss emerged from the ashes. The new look trio, comprising original members Marti Klingman and David Reiss, and Danish expatriate newcomer Victoria Cecilia, kicked Gliss out of the doldrums and onto the world stage with two successful tours of Europe, where most of this album was written and in some cases recorded. There's a frisson about the band now that was previously missing, and a jolt of energy that will stun their old fans. This is obvious on "Huh What?," a raw slab of garage-styled punk, whose raucous edge echoes of the Seeds and its buzzsaw guitars of the Velvet Underground. "Blue Sky," in contrast, has all the thrust and power of the Stooges, and a guitar riff that storms round your brain for days after. A guitar riff rules "Make Believe" as well, but here it slams across a fevered piece that's equal parts indie, punk, and arena rock. Which could describe U2, but it's "Moped" whose chiming guitars brings that band's early career to mind; kick that style to stadium size, add some droning guitar and dense atmosphere to the mix, and you've got "Fade Away." Of course, no one conjured up atmospheres like the Cure, and "Innocent Eyes" pays homage to their marvelous dream-drenched style. Here, Gliss also musically acknowledge their own past, while simultaneously giving their sound a crescendoing majesty never remotely reached in the past. "Kissing the Boulevard" follows Robert Smith and his crew into tougher climes, then takes it a step further, expanding the sound, hiking up the energy, and dragging ethereal atmospheres straight into the rock realm. The set ends with the haunting "All You People," a bottom heavy number balanced by superbly moody slide guitar. All told, Love the Virgins is a phenomenal journey that explores myriad moods and nuances, some delicately shadowed, others drenched in thunderous rock roars. No wonder Gliss are already darlings of the Euro-scene; now it's about time they received some hometown recognition as well.


Formed: Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Playing dark, moody pop music that suggests My Bloody Valentine gone garage rock, Gliss learned the hard way that less is more when the first lineup of the group split up. Los Angeles natives Martin Klingman and David Reiss, who traded off on bass and guitar, were disappointed when the other two members of Gliss walked out on them in 2003 after several years of uphill struggle, and they set out to replace them and resume work as a quartet. However, after meeting Victoria Cecilia, an expatriate of...
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Love the Virgins, Gliss
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