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New York Cool - Music

So So Glos' Album Review
Tourism Terrorism
Reviewed by Courtney Coveney


The So So Glos are in the business of legend-building; their relatively brief yarn is defined by shambolic, guerilla-like performances and mythic instances of intra-band violence. It's this brand of energy and camaraderie that their self-titled debut record successfully captured in searing numbers like "We Got the Days" and "Broken Mirror Baby."

Tourism Terrorism's best moments share the same governing ideas, serviced by the same fuck-all wayfarer skitter and Richard Hell warbles. "Underneath the Universe" is Peter Perrett-worthy, sonically lush punk rock, while the howl of "Fuck the FCC!" in "Throw Your Hands Up" is a crowd pleaser by design.

Elsewhere, where they eschew the old formula, their sound loses its gleefully messy charm. The uncharacteristically polished pop of "Isn't it a Shame" would constitute the kind of step forward that the band ostensibly desired if it weren't for its odd, incongruous break-it-down refrains, and the hollow "Love or Empire" dulls singer Alex Levine's yelp to a whinge. Still, the Glos' heavy-handed mismanagement of the spare, down tempo numbers is more endearing than anything else, considering the bold strides they make elsewhere.

Their choice material is nothing new to the New York audience; they're frequently in awe of urban minutiae, wailing about ghetto blasters and corner bodegas, but they manage to do so with the sort of honesty and chutzpah that many of their none-too-earnest Brooklyn peers so sorely lack. Ultimately, there isn't a single track on Tourism Terrorism that approximates the energy of the Glos' debut. Pared down, it would've made a fantastic EP. Still, its very existence is a testament to the Glos' prowess and zeal; they've been remarkably prolific in recent months, especially given their grueling tour schedule. In spite of the record's failings, this reporter's got nothing but high hopes for the band's future endeavors.

 


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