With a name like The Glad Husbands you could be forgiven for thinking that they can be found playing second fiddle to Mumford and Sons at a cheese rolling festival in Gloucester; however you’d be way off the mark. As the old adage goes, ‘never judge a book by its cover’. Odd moniker aside, The Glad Husbands are a post hard-core noise rock band from Bene Vagienna, Italy, and Safe Places follows hot on the heels of their debut album God Bless the Stormy Weather…released in 2012. Clearly a band that likes to take their time in a quest for perfection…or they’ve just been bogged down by chores.
Safe Places features nine slabs of spasmodic rock freak outs, melding a mix of hard rock genres together to create an interesting and dare I say ‘fun’ sound. It kicks off with ‘Out of the Storm’ with heavy guitars and drums galore, sounding a bit like early day Biffy Clyro (when they rocked out, yes, honestly) jamming with old school Mastodon. While the inquisitively titled ‘Where Do Flies Go When They Die?’ begins with a massive instrumental flip out before welcoming the delayed vocals and then ending on a riff that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Leviathan. Alberto Cornero’s vocals are punky, raw and rough around the edges, refreshingly sung with an accent rather than Americanised, but tending to take a back seat to the smorgasbord of wall to wall riffing and dextrous musical work outs shoe horned into each song.
The majority of tracks on Safe Places don’t tend to follow a generic song structure of verse/chorus/verse, instead they rarely repeat themselves within each song, going off on tangents, contorting into all manner of shapes but still locking into a groove and remaining tight. ‘Things that Made Sense’ is one of the few that has a more standardised structure, featuring big relatively doomy guitars with addictive melodies over the top. ‘Midas’ is slower to get going with a slightly grungy intro with clean vocals and clean guitars before speeding up and freaking back out again. Essentially The Glad Husbands sound revolves around a double whammy guitar and bass attack from the two Alberto’s (Cornero and Calandri), a pairing made in matrimonial heaven, bolstered by impressively cohesive drumming. The guitars stand out on every track but none more so than on ‘Cowards in a Row’ and ‘Meant to Prevail’ with their pummelling heavy grooves and varying time signatures.
The Glad Husbands are an unexpected breath of fresh air, mixing all manner of influences and rock genres together. Whether it’s a hint of Crowbar’s doomy grooves, a twist of early Mastodon’s blood and thunder, a whiff of Helmet’s staccato riffing or a smattering of Arcane Roots angular math rock to create an exhilarating noise that is undoubtedly their own. Safe Places can be a bewildering listen; at times there are more ideas thrown into one song than some bands use in an entire album, riff after riff constantly bombarding the listener. If these guys can gain momentum, avoid leaving it quite so long between releases and hit the road more frequently they could be going places. The Glad Husbands offer a very promising proposition.
(7.5/10 James Jackson)