The Glass Jars, formally known as Loup Garou, formed in 2012 in Birmingham, AL. “The Glass Jars is a band that can compel an audience to listen, even when they’re playing outdoors in the winter,” says the band’s website. The Glass Jars consists of Shawna Ross as the singer, songwriter and guitarist, Jeremy Tidmore on bass, Matt Herbert on drums “breathing life into the music with undeniable jazz/punk influences” and Mollie McFarland on the surprising electric viola.
Following their 2012 EP release Loup-Garou, The Glass Jars toured the south with bands like The Soul Rebel Brass Band and Grammy nominated “The Mad Violinist” Ashanti Floyd. After their 2013 win in the Birmingham Mountain Radio Jams contest, the band spent the end of the year touring and recording their first album The Evolution of Containment.
The Evolution of Containment starts out with strong openers “PRT,” “Navajo” and “Dirty” that show the band’s true potential: combining the electric viola, groovy bass lines and exciting drums set behind an ethereal lead vocal. The viola gives a certain sense of melancholy and classicism, heard especially in “Dirty,” which sounds sleazy and seductive and gives the imagery of being set in a lonely Nashville club. Describing themselves as influenced by Modest Mouse, Beirut and The Pixies is very accurate given the amount of smooth guitars that throwback to Beirut and their west coast vibe as heard specifically in “Glass Jars.”
The contrast of the viola with heavy drums and heavy base is refreshing. It’s like putting the words to a sonnet by Keats in a modern day rock music video. Their southern roots are obviously shown in tracks like “Standing” and “Cocoa Butter” that offer a great supply of bluesy melodies and sad and lonely lyrics. “Standing” also showcases the harmony between Ross and McFarland’s voices. The use of a viola or any other classical instrument other than a piano in a band isn’t too common and the use of it in The Glass Jars is stunning with heavy drums and incredible bass lines, especially heard in “Bluebird” and “PRT.” Songs like “Cocoa Butter” and “Zip Codes” throwback to the 90’s with grungy drums lines and whiny vocals that echo Garbage or The Cranberries.
The album closes with the soothing “Zip Codes” that demonstrates the fluidity and femininity of lead singer Shawna Ross’ voice along with beautiful harmonies from the rest of the band. With The Evolution of Containment, The Glass Jars certainly seem to have a bright future ahead of them
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