Rationale by Glitterer album review by Greg Walker for Northern Transmissions



“Because I want to be invisible / But I can’t stay that way forever,” Glitterer’s Ned Russin sings with characteristic vulnerability on the opening track of their incendiary new album, Rationale. Not only do his lyrics on this album embarrassingly read my mind (“Try to minimize the pain / Try to live life unafraid / So I sit here in my room / I’ll be the big winner if I don’t move anytime soon”), but he taps into all the bands that I adore: Pixies, Pile, Built to Spill. There’s even some Nirvana influence in there and Ned and the band prove Dave Grohl’s famous quote true, if you want to make waves with your music, don’t go on The Voice or American Idol, just get together with your friends and start playing in a band.

Russin, initially from Washington D.C. like Grohl, used to be in the band Title Fight, and then broke out into doing solo EPs on his laptop. But this project is a return to the band form, a collaborative effort, that yields some beautiful and visceral sounds under the post-hardcore moniker. Like Glitterer’s predecessors—DC punk music, from which they take not a little inspiration—the songs never overstay their welcome, one minute and thirty seconds being the average song length on this twelve song, twenty one minute album. But it’s always enough to get you hooked, with Russin’s satisfying howl and the perfect simple but hooky distorted guitar changes.

Like the relatability in Russin’s lyrics, there is a familiarity to their music as well, so that you could cite a dozen or two influences in a cursory listen. That’s not to say they’re derivative: they have a signature sound and the way their influences show up in their music only solidifies their success as a band, in my opinion. “Stay inside / My own deciding.” The album, in a punk rock way, illustrates Russin and crew’s bravery, by doing things their own way and communicating their perspective in a blunt but captivating manner. “I won’t talk about the truth / I won’t light the way for you / Cause I don’t want to.”

And yet Russin’s relatability acts as a salve. His lyrics, though simple, shine bright in the light of honest poetry. The combination of lyrics and sound make this a truly satisfying discovery for me, and hopefully will be for many people. I’m sure to revisit this album this year (it’s the perfect length for my drive into town), and I think it might end up on some people’s best of 2024 lists. A quality alternative rock record for those, like me, who have been around the scene for a while.

Order Rationale by Glitterer HERE


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