Following the trail of anticipation that trailed their debut, Singaporean chaotic hardcore band Glassmouth has recently released their new album, ‘Flatliner‘. This new offering unflinchingly plunges into the abyss of the human condition, grappling with concepts of existential dread and relentless redemption. With their brand of chaotic hardcore/mathcore, they deftly weave a raw and intense sonic narrative that speaks of failure, disappointment, and the peculiar ability to find amusement amidst life’s chaos.
“Flatliner” comes as a compelling expedition beyond self-imposed barriers, a testament to their musical dexterity as they reach out to encompass wider subgenres. They retain the essence of their unique sound while drawing inspiration from a variety of sources like Envy, The Devil Wears Prada, Alt of the Society, and Sleep Token.
In ‘Flatliner,’ Glassmouth offers a fearlessly personal and evocative commentary on mortality, fear, and human relationships. Each track provides a unique perspective, from introspection to societal observation, challenging listeners to delve into the music and find their own connections.
The album takes listeners on an intriguing journey that starts with a stark portrayal of surgical dread, moving towards the haunting experience of child loss and the daunting concept of death from a child’s perspective.
Throughout the album, themes of anxiety, pain, and the unpredictable nature of interpersonal relationships are intertwined with musical experimentation, drawing from hardcore punk, Japanese emotional hardcore, and even parodic takes on pop classics.
Glassmouth also dares to touch on the harsh realities of the workplace culture and personal grief, framing these experiences with a unique mix of dissonant riffs, tribal drums, and orchestral overlays.
We asked the band to give us a detailed rundown of each track. Check out the full story of “Flatliner” below.
Words by Glassmouth:
Flatliner begins with “300% Mortality Rate Surgery”, a wonderful yet morbid reference to Robert Liston where the patient and the assistant both died of sepsis, and a spectator reportedly died of shock, resulting in the only known procedure with a 300% mortality rate. The story telling from section to section produces a sense of uncertainty, dread and mystic as we go through stages of panic.
The follow up, “Grundelesque”, features a more straightforward song structure that’s bound to scratch that hardcore punk itch, an ode to Every Time I Die. The lyrics cover the horrible pain of losing a child and the different scale of fear that children experience when perceiving death as a concept. The title comes from The Real Ghostbuster, where Grundel feeds on children, and he also shows up in Extreme Ghostbusters in the episode “Grundelesque”.
Following that hospital theme, the anxiety fumes of antiseptic and the cold linoleum floor, the slower number, “Baroness”, presents a heavy start and ends off with a chaotic breakdown. The theme of the song revolves around people entering our lives, intentional or not. About small interactions that lead to revolutions in our lives unknowingly. Sometimes we let the wrong people in, sometimes people try to step in to fix things. It never goes to plan and it cannot be planned for.
“The Unconscious Belief In The Law Of Contagion”, is our experiment into a little bit of that Japanese emotional hardcore space. The first half is mathcore/chaotic hardcore but halfway through it transitions into a spoken word/emotional hardcore song. Our previous bassist, Shigemasa, provides the Japanese vocals for the bridge, reminiscent of Envy.
“The World Around Me Has Taken A Turn For The Worse”. A heavy track with a death metal bridge and rap inspired interlude. We got our japanese friend, Sakiyama-san from the band Wellness In The Mouth Of Ditch, to provide vocals and lyrics for the interlude, and the results were hilariously good. The track’s theme centers around being trapped, in every sense of the word.
“Form and Void”. This track is relentless, emotional and to the point. It’s a fun ride throughout. Thematically, it loosely explores the stages of grief when set against life as a whole. Idealizing happiness, to life losing its meaning. Struggle with the will to succeed, and hopefully find peace in whatever the outcome is. The title is from True Detective, with similar themes of belief and faith.
“Wilderbeast”. This track encapsulates Glassmouth pretty well. The song structure doesnt make sense, the guitar riffs are dissonant and the drums have awkward fills – it’s also about a minute long. The lyrics are deep on this one, an unnamed member of Glassmouth got denied a work promotion twice in a row, he was so pissed he wrote about how promotion culture in the workplace is bullshit.
If you know the 1979 movie, Alien, then you might appreciate “8th Passenger = Death”. As the title suggests, the song references the xenomorph using the Hungarian version of the movie title. Listen as Nostromos countdown the detonation and you struggle to get off the ship before your impending doom. The song thematically follows the same fears presented in the movie, centering around the fear of childbirth and impregnation.
“Organic Matter”, is our parodic take on the song “What You Won’t Do For Love” by Bobby Caldwell, though I don’t think he’s going to love this song. Our comedic relief song, our break in the pace. That one song you thought you heard before, but sounds odd.
There was a point in time where we were mesmerised by experimental folk music group “Heilung”, that we wanted to incorporate some form of their drums inside. While we discard the tribal atmosphere and things eventually evolve from just drums, “noziroH tnevE” features an experimental hotpot of that heavy guitars, dissonant riffs, orchestra overlay and that tribal drums in the background, we hope this song never forgives, never forgets, shoots you in the back of the head.