by Chris Familton
The Glorious revolve around the songwriting of Melbourne singer Dave Mather and they’ve been peddling their classic pop rock sound in a variety of incarnations since 2004. Their sophomore album Sweetwater makes a strong case for the appeal of well crafted songs that succeed on nuance and feel rather than a band fighting to be heard in the latest scene.
There’s a streak of US west coast country rock through most of their songs and the sound of Gram Parsons, CSN and a hint of Neil Young make the overall mood one of warm breezy evenings – that endless summer vibe. That said they’re also indebted to The Band for the way they dress their songs in both traditional and psychedelic fashion with textural guitar often colouring their dreamy country strums. The title track is the best example of Mather’s upbeat, uber-melodic and sweet songs while Hold On To You suggests there is also heartbreak and a touch of turbulence beneath their relatively lightweight exterior. Where the album loses points is its lack of bite. It generally sounds too nice, too clean cut and produced which, over the length of the album, results in a homogenous blurring of the high points amid the songs that are pleasant but forgettable. Part of that is due to the Mather’s exceptional, high register voice that sounds fantastic but more often than not heads to ethereal places making it hard to form a lyrical connection and gain a sense of grounding in the songs.
Frustrations aside, Sweetwater still offers many rewards for those who value the central tenets of classic singer songwriter composition and the tender charm of a sensitive voiced man. The Glorious might not entirely live up to their name but they’ve created a very good record nonetheless.
Sweetwater is out now on Laughing Outlaw Records
this review was first published on themusic.com.au