Jet Engine With Rhythm

Bridgeburner (Small Stone Records)
The Glasspack

By David Lilly

Having interviewed "Dirty" Dave Johnson and listened repeatedly to his records, my impression is that he's a musician version of a method actor. There is a script, but he lives the part and is both cursed and blessed. The molten lava rock of both American Exhaust and Powderkeg is red hot and merciless; neither album is for fans of mainstream entertainment, but fans of 16-ton rock should own both. MTV2 cowered away from The Glasspack's "Mrs. Satan" video. So, what did Johnson and his co-workers do? They stuck to their guns by recording another album of heavy artillery. Bridgeburner shatters windows, makes the walls tremble and doesn't look back.

Though Johnson's familiar growl is abundant, this CD's emphasis is on the music. After listening to it several times in its entirety, the only lyrics I deciphered can't be printed here. Hence, my question is, how do these guys play music like this without repeating themselves? One answer is that they're on a boat with Ozric Tentacles; it's easy to say that if you have one album, you have them all, but that is misleading. The Glasspack has a "sound" but each new album is different from the previous. What separates Bridgeburner from the other Glasspack albums? Well, aside from the vocals being harder to understand, the music sounds like a step forward. Listen to this CD and you won't hear a rerun of other Glasspack CDs. "Gimme Shelter" marks the first appearance of a cover song on a Glasspack album. Not only that, but "Hairsoup" might be one of the sexiest slow-burning hard rock song since Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold."

If you dig The Glasspack's previous work, Bridgeburner is a must-have. If you don't like one or both of their back records, it can't hurt to give this one a shot or if you haven't even heard of The Glasspack until now, try starting with this one and working backwards.

Get acquainted with the band via lots of informative reading at their website, at www.theglasspack.com