Our top 10 Glassjaw songs list looks at the catalog of an American band best known for its post-hardcore sound. Glassjaw was established in 1993 by vocalist Daryl Palumbo and guitarist Justin Beck. While we have cited Glassjaw to be a post-hardcore act, its music transcends other music genres including hardcore punk, alternative metal, experimental rock, and progressive rock. Emerging from Hempstead, New York, Glassjaw had its signature post-hardcore sound inspired by bands from the ‘80s New York hardcore scene such as Quicksand.
Other bands that had an influence on Glassjaw’s musical pursuits (not necessarily from the New York hardcore scene) include Faith No More and Youth of Today. Together with The Blood Brothers and At the Drive-In, Glassjaw guided the post-hardcore scene to popularity in the early 2000s. These bands also played a significant role in making way for the mainstream success of emo post-hardcore bands including The Used, Taking Back Sunday, Silverstein, and My Chemical Romance.
Glassjaw’s Career Beginnings and Breakthrough
Soon after teaming up to form Glassjaw, Daryl and Beck went ahead to add to its lineup bassist Dave Buchta and guitarist Nick Yulico. In the early stages of the band, Justin Beck played drums taking up the guitars later on in 1998. In the ‘90s, Glassjaw released six demos and one extended play entitled Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was produced by Craig Randall with some of its musical gems including “Black Coffee,” “Pink Roses and the Graveyard,” and “Star Above My Bed (Call of the Tiger Woman).”
Glassjaw’s Album Releases over the Years
In 2000, Glassjaw went on to issue its debut studio album Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence through Roadrunner Records. Working on the album’s production was Ross Robinson, a producer best known for his successful work with Slipknot, Tech N9ne, The Blood Brothers, Limp Bizkit, and Korn. Joining vocalist Daryl and guitarist Beck in the recording of the band’s debut album were bassist Manuel Carrero, drummer Sammy Siegler, and guitarist Todd Weinstock.
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence saw the band serve to its fans its signature post-hardcore sound influences. Some of the best Glassjaw songs from the album include “Siberian Kiss,” “Pretty Lush,” “Piano,” and “Ry Ry’s Song.” Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence was a mainstream success in the UK where it rose to number eighty-two on the Albums Charts. The album was the final recording by the band with drummer Sammy Siegler who went on to join the post-hardcore band Rival Schools, playing later on with Limp Bizkit and Tech N9ne.
In 2002, Glassjaw returned with its sophomore studio album Worship and Tribute. The album was issued through Warner Bros. Records with the band reuniting with Ross Robinson in production. Worship and Tribute was engineered by Mike Fraser who is revered for his work with Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Joe Satriani, Metallica, and Enter Shikari. The album was a mainstream success in the US, rising to position eight-two on the Billboard 200.
Worship and Tribute saw the band add to its signature post-hardcore sound experimental rock, alternative metal, progressive rock, and emo influences. With the departure of Manuel Carrero (who would later return in 2004, serving till 2015), Beck went ahead to take on the bass roles. Drummer Larry Gorman and Shannon Larkin (current drummer of Godsmack) were part of Glassjaw’s lineup for this album. “Cosmopolitan Bloodloss,” “Apos Dos Mil,” “Tip Your Bartender,” “Must’ve Run All day,” and “Mu Empire” are the best Glassjaw songs from Worship and Tribute.
In 2005, Glassjaw issued its sophomore extended play, El Mark. The three-track EP was issued through Warner Bros. Records with the band working with Ross Robinson on its production. After six years, Glassjaw returned with its self-released third extended play Our Color Green (The Singles). The EP’s production work was handled by the band members in conjunction with Jonathan Florencio, a record producer revered for his work with Dearly Departed, Ours, Woods, and The Movielife.
“All Good Junkies Go to Heaven” is the most popular song off Our Color Green (The Singles). A day before Valentine’s Day 2011, Glassjaw issued its fourth extended play Coloring Book. Tasking on the production of this self-released album by Glassjaw were Jonathan Florencio and Ryan Seigel. Notable musical gems from the extended play include “Black Nurse” and “Gold.”
Material Control, issued in 2017, marks the band’s third and most recent full-length studio album. The album was issued through Century Media with the production work handled by vocalist Daryl Palumbo and guitarist Justin Beck. Joining the band on the drums was Billy Rymer, an artist best known for his impactful career stint as a member of The Dillinger Escape Plan. Material Control made it to the eighth position on the Billboard Independent Albums Chart. “Shira,” “My Conscience Weighs a Ton,” “Golgotha,” and “New White Extremity” are the best Glassjaw songs from Material Control.
Glassjaw’s Other Musical Pursuits and Legacy
Despite its short musical catalog (only three LPs), Glassjaw remains one of the most iconic post-hardcore acts of the early 2000s. The band has been cited as an influence on the musical pursuits of other post-hardcore bands such as Night Verses, Letlive, Funeral for a Friend, and The Movielife. Glassjaw has maintained quite a huge following distinguishing itself with powerful live performances.
Over the years, Glassjaw has shared the stage on tours with multiple artists including Soulfly, Scowl, Deftones, Life of Agony, Beloved, and Incendiary, to name a few. During Glassjaw’s hiatus, Glassjaw’s lead vocalist Daryl formed the band Head Automatica, signing a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records and releasing two mainstream successful LPs. Here we present the ten best Glassjaw songs of all time.
#10- Ry Ry’s Song
Ushering us to the top 10 Glassjaw songs list is the striking hit “Ry Ry’s Song.” The song is featured on the band’s debut studio album Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence. “Ry Ry’s Song” is a melodious post-hardcore hit recognized for its beautiful and outstanding progressions. The lyrics to this song were penned by the band’s lead vocalist Daryl Palumbo.
Daryl went on to cite “Ry Ry’s Song” as one of the angriest songs on the band’s debut studio album. Additionally, Daryl revealed that the song’s lyrics were about a friend of the band members who had quite a sad experience with his lover. The pain undergone by their friend is fully expressed in Daryl’s vocal delivery as he sings through this song.
#9- My Conscience Weighs a Ton
After one and a half decades without issuing a full-length hit, Glassjaw returned in 2017 with its third studio album Material Control. The album was a solid post-hardcore release as evidenced by songs like “My Conscience Weighs a Ton.” “My Conscience Weighs a Ton” oozes some heavy yet melodic guitar riffs with Daryl giving us a taste of his gentle vocal delivery.
The song’s blistering instrumentation makes it up for the sparse (to almost none) post-hardcore influences on Daryl’s vocal delivery. Justin Beck revealed that the drums to this hit were inspired by the post-hardcore band Into Another. There was nobody better to have executed the drum beats for this hit other than Billy Rymer, a former member of The Dillinger Escape Plan.
#8- Mu Empire
Coming in at number eight on our ten best Glassjaw songs lit is the energetic hit “Mu Empire.” The song is the lowest-ranking song from the band’s sophomore album Worship and Tribute on our list. With songs like “Mu Empire” Glassjaw joined acts like Quicksand in loading their guns ready to put to rest the flourishing nu-metal scene with the prevailing post-hardcore influences. “Mu Empire” gets a little punchy credit to its powerful drumming and sweltering guitar riffs.
However, the song doesn’t compromise on its melodic feel, having it get catchy intermittently. Once again, Daryl makes a vocal delivery enough to send shivers down your spine, making him a gem in the post-hardcore scene! His vocal range in this song feels a bit Mike Patton-inspired, showcasing Faith No More’s influence on Glassjaw.
#7- Pretty Lush
“Pretty Lush” is yet another hit off the band’s debut album Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence. The song sets the post-hardcore bar for the rest of the band’s songs from this album, especially with Daryl’s vocal delivery. While Daryl’s vocals go full-blown hardcore for the better part of this song, he manages to add some slight melodic influences in his delivery too.
“Pretty Lush” was also penned by vocalist Daryl Palumbo who went ahead to reveal that the song’s lyrics were inspired by a girl who happened to be his lover and best friend. Sadly, after the girl moved away for college, they grew distant with the girl seemingly treating Daryl as a phase in her life. The girl went ahead to take up alcoholism, something that Daryl didn’t appreciate owing to his straight edge lifestyle by then.
#6- All Good Junkies Go to Heaven
Number six on our ten best Glassjaw songs list is the electrifying hit “All Good Junkies Go to Heaven.” The song is the brightest cut off the band’s third extended play Our Color Green (The Singles). It is amazing to see how the band’s six years of no release (until the issue of this EP) and a hiatus were not enough to rob Glassjaw off its solid musicianship as evidenced by this hit.
“All Good Junkies Go to Heaven” is a ferocious track reminiscent of the band’s fan-favorite tracks such as “Mu Empire.” The song is quite catchy with its melody filled with post-hardcore-oriented guitar riffs. Other than its hypnotic driving beat, “All Good Junkies” showcases the band’s growth in terms of lyricism.
#5- Tip Your Bartender
Worship and Tribute, the band’s sophomore studio album, is home to the fifth pick of our ten best Glassjaw songs “Tip Your Bartender.” The song possesses one of the hookiest choruses ever by any Glassjaw release. Additionally, the blustery guitar riffs in this song are worth some applause.
The lyrics of this song sneak memories of Daryl’s past with his ex-lovers which are best exemplified in the band’s debut studio album Everything You Wanted to Know About Silence. Backing Daryl in the vocals of this fascinating hit is Larry Gorman, who Daryl tagged on his new band Head Automatica. “Tip Your Bartender” feels like a Bad Brains or Fugazi-Esque hit.
#4- Siberian Kiss
“Siberian Kiss” is yet another impressive hit off the band’s debut studio album Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence. The song is positioned right below the album’s opening track—We couldn’t have expected otherwise, especially with the fact that “Siberian Kiss” is a continuation of Daryl’s heartbreak chronicles from the same girl he mentioned in “Pretty Lush.” Daryl knew pretty well that they would never get back together with the girl, especially after she started binging on alcoholic drinks.
However, the bubbling pain in his heart owing to this heartbreak, prompted him to get back into the songwriting process to give us a piece of his feelings. The sentiments echo even louder when he takes a look at an old photo. Daryl wishes that he has his photos back from the lady. The singer goes full throttle into his hardcore vocals in this tempestuous song with energetic drumming from Sammy Siegler (later played with Tech N9ne, Limp Bizkit, and Rival Schools) and killer guitar riffs complementing his delivery.
When Glassjaw issued its third studio album, the band stroke a balance between the experimentation of Worship and Tribute and the raw delivery of its debut LP. The result was a sound evocative of what Glassjaw sounded like in the heads of the band members as revealed by Daryl. No song epitomizes the true feel of Material Control better than our third pick “Shira.” The song features killer guitar riffs from Justin Beck.
However, the highpoint of “Shira” remains to be the rhythm section, especially the exceptional bass riffs. Beck admitted that the guitar has always been the most prominent instrument in most of the band’s hits, with the bass and drum playing second fiddle. This was not the case with “Shira,” a song with the loudest yet alluring blazing basslines on the LP. “Shira” blasts unadulterated post-hardcore sensations, especially in the beginning, but get a tad bit melodic as it approaches the end.
#2- Cosmopolitan Bloodloss
“Cosmopolitan Bloodloss” is yet another track off the band’s sophomore studio album Worship and Tribute. The song was penned by Daryl with its lyrical content seemingly indistinct. However, several parts of the song suggest the lyrics to have been penned from Daryl’s pro-choice perspective, especially the bridge where he mentions, ‘We are the most impassioned ugly people.’
“Cosmopolitan Bloodloss” is one of the most radio-friendly hits by Glassjaw. The song is the highest-charting hit by the band, rising to the seventy-sixth spot on the UK Singles Chart. Tasked with the mixing duties of this hit is Chris Lord-Alge, who is best known for his work with Green Day, Steve Curtis Chapman, My Chemical Romance, Simple Plan, and Neil Diamond.
#1- Ape Dos Mil
Number one on our ten best Glassjaw songs list is the mellow hit “Ape Dos Mil.” The song is the most alluring hit off the band’s sophomore studio album Worship and Tribute. Without a doubt, “Ape Dos Mil” feels like a little departure from the hard-hitting post-hardcore sounds by the band—and so is its counterpart mellow hit “Must’ve Run All Day.” However, these songs serve a significant role in the evolution of post-hardcore sound, adding some emo influences to the genre, a move that was fully capitalized on by acts such as My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday, and The Used.
“Ape Dos Mil” also allows us to fully experience the quality of the band’s musicianship. The song proves to be a straight-up rocker with its haunting nature crowning it Glassjaw’s signature hit from Worship and Tribute. “Ape Dos Mil” made it to the UK Singles Chart, rising to position eighty-seven. The song also graced the UK Rock & Metal Singles Chart, peaking at number seven.
Top 10 Glassjaw Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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