Gloria Record Start Here

A swirling, epic rock record, Start Here is a solid debut from this Austin, TX-based combo, which features two members from early ’90s emo-pioneers Mineral. After struggling to find their legs with a couple of EPs, they shuffled off to Nebraska to tinker away on Start Here for quite some time to get things right, and the dedication shows. Things get right down to business with the album opener, appropriately titled "Start Here,” which features an array of rock instrumentation and synths that make their sound difficult to peg down. "Good Morning Providence” and "Cinema Air” are great examples of the Gloria Record’s penchant for the grandiose style of artists like Flaming Lips or Mercury Rev, although they are quick to cite bands like U2 and R.E.M. as more immediate influences on their overall sound. They had lofty goals when they set out to record Start Here and, for the most part, they have managed to live up to them. There is a lot of good variation throughout the album; at times allowing piano and Chris Simpson’s fragile voice to take centre stage, in contrast to the waves of guitars and various effects that follow on tracks like "The Immovable Motorist.” Originally recorded without any support or hopes of a proper release, they managed to hook up with Arena Rock (home to Luna), giving them the ability to finish this debut. It should also be noted that Start Here has some spiffy artwork that seems strangely appropriate to the sonic attack contained within. Overall, this is a great, refreshingly unpredictable debut. (Arena Rock)