The Extra Glenns

The Extra Glenns

Martial Arts Weekend

Absolutely Kosher

The Extra Glenns are an extra-special sort of supergroup. Both John Darnielle (Mountain Goats) and Franklin Bruno (Nothing Painted Blue) have gained reputations as solo visionaries, self-contained musical universes whose music seems to spring full-formed. I’ve been enthusiastic about their work before, but not quite as enthusiastic as I am about The Extra Glenns. Darnielle’s music, while lent authenticity by the fact that it is always recorded on a boom box, often sounds cramped and thin, probably because it is always recorded on a boom box (though his plaintive voice and true-to-life lyricism can always carry the day). Bruno’s pop style often seems to veer towards the self-referential, some may say self-indulgent. On this album, those rough edges dovetail perfectly, making for a solid whole.

Musically, Martial Arts Weekend is anchored by Darnielle’s distinctive guitar strumming and voice. Around this solid foundation, Bruno lays nice flourishes of guitar, piano and what-not. Percussion is mostly absent but not sorely missed — there’s enough going on to keep things interesting. “All Rooms Cable A/C Free Coffee” is a love story developing in a motel, with some assuring bass on the bottom and wistful lyrics on top. Leonard Cohen’s “Memories” is given a minimal treatment, with Darnielle reminiscing sweet, sour and youthful against a solitary piano.

The Extra Glenns are like a rare quantum collision — the sparks thrown off are nothing like what the equations predict, and it’ll take years to sort out the consequences of that single event. Martial Arts Weekend provides more than a new facet for familiar artists; it’s an album that solidly stands on its own.

Absolutely Kosher: http://www.absolutelykosher.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • A Musical Manifesto for the Pandemic
    A Musical Manifesto for the Pandemic

    Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians Globe of Frogs helps Jeffrey Schweers endure the pandemic in another burst of Wax On!

  • Laion Roberto
    Laion Roberto

    A Taste for Mojo. Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Hinds
    Hinds

    The Prettiest Curse (Mom + Pop Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Coriky
    Coriky

    Coriky (Dischord). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Sylvester
    Sylvester

    Known for birthing two of the most iconic crossover anthems of the disco era -“You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” and “Dance (Disco Heat)” Sylvester’s sensational 1978 set, “Step II” has just been reborn, via Craft Recordings.

  • Teddy Thompson
    Teddy Thompson

    Heartbreaker Please (Thirty Tigers). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Keri Johnson
    Keri Johnson

    Anyone. Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Liberté
    Liberté

    Generoso Fierro reviews Albert Serra’s new transgressive feature Liberté, winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

  • Junko Beat
    Junko Beat

    Satirifunk (Dumparade Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Blood Tide
    Blood Tide

    Richard Jefferies classic looks like a new film in the Blu-ray reissue.

From the Archives