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Glows in the Dark

Beach of the War Gods

(Glowing Realm Digital; US: 24 May 2011; UK: 24 May 2011)

It’s obligatory to mention that almost all of the song titles on Glows in the Dark’s Beach of the Wars Gods are named after films. Not that this in any way alters or enhances the listening experience, it’s just customary to note when artists shoot for an overarching theme. This Richmond-based jazz/rock outfit doesn’t come with enough dimensions to its sound to take the band beyond its flat, grey carpet, default mode, much less to succeed in becoming a backdrop for an Ingmar Bergman film. For one thing, an overabundance of notes, especially from guitarist Scott Burton, makes the band seem more like a tool for rehearsing than anything else. Secondly—and more importantly—only one song (one not named after a film) comes close to feeling weighty or compelling. None of the musicians, especially trombonist Reggie Pace, are weak links, and the overall sum of the parts has talent to spare. Unfortunately, Glows in the Dark is just one of those bands that doesn’t focus its talents where it counts.

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