The Glorious Sons might be new to a UK audience, but the band’s debut album ‘The Union’ has earned close to 10 million streams in the US and Canada. The album produced 7 consecutive top ten rock singles and earned the band the title of ‘Most-Played Artist’ on Canadian Rock Radio. The Glorious Sons played over 350 shows in support of ‘The Union’, were named SiriusXM ‘Group of the Year’ and ‘Rock Group of the Year’ Indie Award winners and earned a Juno nominee for ‘Rock Album of the Year’.
This second album from the Ontario-based five-piece is about the real life adventures (and frequent misadventures) of vocalist & main songwriter Brett. The album is also about the lethargy and uncertainty of life as a young adult; a theme that continues throughout all ten tracks. “It’s basically the story of a 24-year-old kid,” says Brett, “They’re simple songs about alcoholism and the mostly autobiographical story of my life. The whole thing is derived from the thoughts, actions and feelings of a kid who doesn't really know himself and the consequences of those actions."
This creativity wasn’t an easy process initially. The band had been recording for eighteen months with little success, then headed to Los Angeles to work with the ‘Fast Friends’ production team made up of Frederik Thaae, Ryan Spraker and Tom Peyton. “It was our first time working with these guys in the studio and we were still kinda feeling each other out,” says Brett. “There were times when it almost felt like a blind date. And we had been in the studio with a couple of other producers prior to that and went home empty handed. So after a few tepid conversations about ideas, they started exploring some old voice clips on Brett’s phone and had their breakthrough moment. Brett recalls, “I said to them, ‘Boys, can I show you something?’ I took out my iPhone and played ‘Josie’ and they just went fucking nuts. They wanted us to challenge ourselves as players and songwriters and pushed me to write from personal experience. After that, the hardest part of recording was choosing which songs to keep for the album. I’m forever grateful to them for teaching me to trust myself as a writer and help find that voice.” The subsequent creative outburst resulted in an album written in 12 days and recorded in 14.
‘Young Beauties and Fools’ was released by Earache Records in Europe and Japan on 23rd February 2018 and has just triumphed over stiff competition to win the coveted Juno Award for ‘Best Rock Album’ (announced 25th March 2018).
The album opener is ‘My Poor Heart’, which begins with some simple piano chords and soft vocals, then relentless drum beats are added to the mix, the vocals get turned up to ten, and some mighty riffs join the party. The rhythm section pounds a delicious beat…what a cracking way to begin an album! With lyrics such as “I lost my wallet and keys, somewhere around with my dignity”, this is a cautionary tale about living life to excess.
‘Josie’ is pegged as a not-so-classic boy-meets-girl tale and I can see why. With intelligent lyrics offering you something to think about, this song has various changes of pace and is full of big sing-a-long choruses. It was stuck in my head for days after just the first listen. Written about a deeply embarrassing punch-up at a wedding, ‘Everything Is Alright’ has verses with a clear crisp vocal backed with an acoustic guitar that just sounds so damn good. Brett’s vocal has a deliciously raspy quality that really lends itself to this slower track, but when he opens up with these kind of big choruses it sounds fantastic! This song has an anthemic feel that’s sure to make it a favourite at live shows.
‘Come Down’ starts slowly then builds, as each instrument joins in, to a chorus that has the sing-a-long style that I’m by now beginning to expect from this album; I’m not disappointed. Brett’s voice on this track is shown to its best, with great range throughout and clever use of distortion on the bridge, with very little instrumental backing.
Next track ‘Hide My Love’ starts with a nice gentle beat that continues through the whole song. It’s good to be able to hear and appreciate each instrument individually on this track. The dual guitars sound great together in harmony, and the drums and bass keep up the soulful beat throughout. ‘Godless, Graceless and Young’ has engaging vocals, pleasing riffs, solid drums and bass, a real meld of all members of the band. From the outset, ‘My Blood’ had my toe tapping. The drums and bass really come into their own on this track. The vocals, including the backing vocals are brilliant. I can picture this being played live with the crowd going wild!
Although the subject matter is not pleasant, ‘Sawed Off Shotgun’ has a really catchy chorus that you can’t help but sing along to - “Yeah, they sent the tax man, I lost my job and you got hooked on oxycodone. They shut the lights off, They took the car and I bought a sawed a shotgun!” I know, it doesn’t sound like a sing-a-long lyric but believe me, you’ll be singing it!
Like the other tracks thus far, ‘So Much Love To Give’ has a great beat from the outset. Great fuzzy baselines and pounding drums, swiftly joined by great harmonising vocals that continue throughout the song. I couldn’t help but tap my feet and nod my head to this track, it really is infectious.
Last track ‘Thank You For Saying Goodbye’ feels really melancholy and just kind of washed over me on the first listen. On closer inspection, there is some really beautiful guitar playing, the rhythm section keep up a timely beat, and there is some pretty cymbal work. The vocals are stunning on this track, especially if you close your eyes and listen.
This is an album packed to the rafters with big sing-a-long songs with catchy choruses, huge pounding drums, fuzzy baselines, crunchy guitar riffs, topped off with those delicious raspy vocals. Stand out tracks for me are ‘My Poor Heart’, ‘My Blood, ‘Sawed Off Shotgun’, and ‘So Much Love To Give’.
‘Young Beauties and Fools’ track listing:-
My Poor Heart
Everything Is Alright
Hide My Love
Godless, Graceless and Young
Sawed Off Shotgun
So Much Love To Give
Thank You For Saying Goodbye
The Glorious Sons are:-
Brett Emmons - vocals
Jay Emmons - guitar
Chris Koster - guitar
Adam Paquette - drums
Chriss Huot - bass
Find out more about The Glorious Sons here:-
Buy ‘Young Beauties and Fools’ here:-