Gavin Cowley, frontman of Glimmermen is dead, and he wants everyone to know. Not just an “I’m late for work” kind of ‘I’m dead’. Not just a “time to tell my parents what really happened to their car” kind of ‘I’m dead’. Not even a “what do you mean that delicious plutonium was poisonous?” kind of ‘I’m dead’.
He really means it. It’s too late. He and his bandmates are skeletal after the parasites got the munchies. He is no more. He ceases to be. He has gone to meet his maker… and so on and so forth. The funny thing is, he isn’t quite as upset about it than you might have thought. I’m Dead is often less a slow and mournful funeral precession, and more an energetic gymnastic tumble through the cemetery into an open grave.
From track one, anybody who was expecting misery and doom metal from the album sleeve’s blackness, skeletons and disgusting prose about the process by which their bodies are decomposing, is in for a bit of a surprise.
In answer to the title track’s chorus lyrics’ question (“What happened to my electricity? What happened to my body’s energy?”), that light rock energy is being channeled directly and playfully into the song. Its hopping guitars, skipping drum beat, and jumping trumpet, seemingly pulled straight out of a ska track, make sure the song that promised to keep you deadly still, is full of head-bobbing glory.
Where ‘I’m Dead’ chose to open with celebration, the more optimistically titled closers choose not to be so happy. Come the end of penultimate track ‘Peace at Last’, we find that the Glimmermen’s definition of ‘peace’ is questionable – screaming their throats red raw. That said, perhaps losing their voices by the end of the song is the peace that they are after.
By the time that it all ends, the mood has sunk, having sung their ‘Last Song’ (humorously track number two). They had an undesirable experience at the pearly gates alongside ‘Angels & Devils’ resulting in spoken growls. They clatter and drag their chains (well, tambourines) behind them in ‘Ex= Out’, through the cobbled streets of ‘This Town’, haunted and lonely. It seems that death wasn’t the joy that they had previously expected.
Yet their often, sparse hangout jam-like sound all still seems in good fun. Glimmermen did not intend to rest in peace.