Like many, my first introduction to The Glorious Sons was “S.O.S” (Sawed Off Shotgun), the cathartic anthem for anyone at a point where it feels like everything in life is imploding and you just don’t know how much more you can take. Not only did it have something unique to say, but “S.O.S.” managed to do so by pairing heavy and disparaging lyrics with an upbeat and fun soundtrack– something that probably shouldn’t work but does.
And that is where The Glorious Sons continue to shine with their third album, A War on Everything, a strong and diverse collection of songs about life, love, and all their respective baggage.
The album’s first single, “Panic Attack”, is an intense rocker in the same vein as “S.O.S.” followed by the euphoric melody of the title track that could be classified as audible Xanax. The rest of the songs feature a cornucopia of musical influences.
“A Funny Thing Happened” starts off slow then launches into a classic punk overture that carries over to “Kick Them Wicked Things” where it adds a dash of rockabilly. “I’m on Your Side” sounds transported from the late 80s soundscape and “Lean on Me Love” could be the musical love child of REM and Oasis. Make no mistake though, the album carries the alt-rock torch proudly using the styles mentioned above to add an extra layer of depth.
From Jay Emmons and Chris Koster’s Van Halen-style guitar solos to Josh Hewson’s classic piano accompaniment that would make Little Richard proud, the Glorious Sons make great use of their respective talents. Lead singer Brett Emmons’ vocals are consistently solid and can go from sounding raw to refined as the song demands.
“Pink Motel” serves as a perfect denouement by funneling every remaining bit of emotion into a simple yet powerful closeout to an album that is both entertaining and therapeutic.