Last year we called Birmingham collective Glories‘ debut Mother Reverb “smooth and uplifting”. These words also apply to the band’s sophomore effort; if anything, both qualities are found in even greater measures here.
The tone is suggested by the album’s cover, which is much brighter this time around; and by the title, an abbreviated version of “Put the beast out of mind and dream for a while.” What is this beast? Its identity is different for different people. To some, this beast may be anxiety or depression; to others, the daily grind. Whatever it may be, Glories invites the listener to get lost in their sound, and more importantly, offers a sound conducive to dreaming.
This fact is not apparent on first listen. In fact, it was seven or eight plays into the album (over the course of a couple weeks) when I realized that I didn’t want to put it away. Put the Beast Out of Mind is by no means an immediate album; it’s a slow grower. It fits perfectly into the background, but it’s not until the music has stopped that one realizes how much it has guided one’s mood. But if one listens to it as foreground music, such magic is obscured. For comparative purposes, imagine floating down a stream. Now imagine reviewing every separate part of the stream; the experience is diminished. And so, while one could point out the highlights ~ a brief piano coda in the opening track, a tambourine in “An Unquiet Mind” (perhaps inspired by Kay Redfield Jameson’s memoir, which would support the theme) ~ they are like turtles gliding beneath the surface rather than alligators rising above it.
Put the beast out of mind and dream for a while. What might one dream of, given this opportunity? Might one dream of positive possibilities, or simply pleasant distractions? Whatever the dream, the upbeat melodies found in tracks such as “Of Good Fortunes” lead the mind to a better place. This is a safe realm, a realm in which guitars comfort rather than attack and drums roll more than pound. The album works as a benign drug, with no ill after-effects. According to drummer Adam Blevins, this is the “true sound” of Glories. We are happy to rest in its warm embrace. (Richard Allen)