A name that’s been making the rounds in the Japanese rock scene of late is GLIM SPANKY, one of the most attractive and photogenic duos seen in quite a long time. They are known for their distinct raspy vocalist and classic 70s rock sound- and lots of listeners are really eating it up, with good reason. Earlier releases, such as the mini album “Shousou” were delightfully addictive to listen to, with big, hard hitting riffs perfectly complemented by those brilliant vocals. They had cemented a distinct sound that at the time- worked wonderfully and really stood out.

With their second full length album, NEXT ONE, GLIM SPANKY once again bring the trademark old school rock sound that they have become known for. And that’s ultimately the main problem. It’s still the same. Nothing has remotely changed, except for smoothing out the edges, and unfortunately- the very thing that got me so excited to begin with- has become the very thing that now bores this listener. It has gotten stale.

Sure the opening track, “NEXT ONE” is catchy as hell and comes in like a better White Stripes track, but never ever really goes anywhere after the initial impact. Still, it’s one of the better songs on here. The real problem lies in when the band starts to pick up speed- and it just becomes generic wishy-washy rock. The worst examples are second track “Ikari wo Kure” yo that becomes almost excruciating by the second half and the so-generic-that-it-hurts “Iza Mexico e“. Closing track “Wild Side wo Ike” is quite disappointing too, it really leaves no impact and is completely forgettable.

If it’s not faux-dirty rock that GLIM SPANKY are delivering, it’s really boring ballad style tracks that float by almost completely unnoticed. Songs like “NIGHT LAN DOT” are just so frankly ineffective they might as well be someone poking your shoulder and saying ‘hey I’m here’. The only one of the ballad tracks that holds any weight is “Kaze ni Utaeba” with it’s beautiful harmonizing (that really, really is gorgeous), but it’s so late into the album that it only really works if taken as a separate song.

On a technical level, everything is fine. The production value is good, the instrumental work is fine, vocals are tip-top and emotive at times, mastering is good albeit safe. Unfortunately none of these elements can save the album from ultimately being a really average piece of work. Fans get what they expect- and nothing more. It’s just another GLIM SPANKY release that will likely be forgotten as soon as the next one comes along. I can only hope that the band either come back with something a little harder next time- or try adding new elements- because at the current rate, GLIM SPANKY are becoming really, really bland.

4/10– Generic rock that only hardcore fans need apply for.


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