Glue, Catch As Catch Can

Glue, Catch As Catch Can

It’s always been my sincere belief that Music can work as a unifying medium that brings two or more opposing forces together in harmony, even if said unification is temporary. With the world changing in rapid and unsettling ways, people look in all sorts of places to find truth, inspiration, and assurance. We look for connections in unlikely places, especially if we happen to be musicians (well most musicians, anyway…).

It’s been a long time since I’ve listened to an album that made me remember why I loved music so much in the first place — why I nestled myself confidently into deep bass chords, erratic drum beats, candid lyrics, and vocals. Glue made me remember. Their most recent release, Catch As Catch Can, is a genuinely refreshing change of scenery, not just for independent music, but for music culture in general.

Glue has put their collective foot into the ring and produced one of the best, as they put it, retro-progressive albums in years. You can literally hear the hard work and innovation being pumped through your speakers in almost every song on here. The lyrics are heartfelt and raw. Glue, consisting of emcee Adeem, djdq, and producer Maker, combine to bring a unique and believable mix of rock and hip-hop to the table. Don’t be turned off by the rock/hip-hop combo, by the way; the rock tint is subtle yet integrated so intelligently that you can’t help but shake your ass a little to the beats. I assure you that with songs like “Truth or Dare” and “Beat Beat Beat,” I won’t be the only one getting turned on by the sounds. Precious few have successfully woven rock and hip-hop together as profoundly and honestly as Glue does.

What makes the album even more exciting is the freshness of their work. We’ve heard plenty of retro bands lately, but very few have incorporated a new vibe. Glue, on the other hand, has brought an old school hip-hop sound back, but in a way that makes you melt a little remembering how much you missed the way music used to be. Songs like “Glupies,” “In Between Her,” and “Never Really Know” showcase djdq’s chilled out sampled mixes and Adeem’s poetic verses.

While very few of the songs faltered, there were times throughout Catch As Catch Can where the lyrics got a wee bit long-winded and cheesy, of course. On “Hometown Anthem,” for one, the song flowed but the rhymes were more like a chronological retelling of the emcee’s history than a lyrical showcase. The song felt forced and mismatched, even if the content was genuine and sentimental. Overall, though, the album rocked and hip-hopped in a beautifully rare form. Glue saw that music fans out there were reaching to find real music again and they filled that need with integrity and heart.

Much like independent film, indie music seems to have fallen into a pretty predictable pattern over the years. Just like everything else, what once was distinctive quickly becomes banal, and we struggle to wade through the paper cuts to find someone willing to push the limits of soul and sound. Glue is the bridge bringing us back to days where musicians played music because they couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

(Fat Beats Records -- 110 Bridge Street, 3rd Floor, Brooklyn, NY. 11201; http://www.fatbeats.com/; Glue -- http://www.myspace.com/glue)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Thursday, October 19th, 2006. Filed under Reviews.

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