by Marcus Gauthiér (@themarcu5)
I'm on the roof of David Blaine's the Steakhouse, where Glueboy just finished playing their tape release show (and penultimate show as a band). Co-frontman/guitarist Jonathan Marty passionately argues the respective sins and merits of the late Robert Moses while his bandmates Coby Chafets (bass/vocals) and Eli Sills (drums) listen on in eager amusement. The trio are clearly in good spirits and much looser than you'd typically expect out of a band that just recently announced its breakup. Glueboy aren't exactly typical though; Chafets and Marty were childhood friends and have been playing music together since they first picked up their guitars in grammar school.
If there's ever such thing as an amicable split this is it: no 'artistic differences' or Gallagher brothers level drama, just three people going in different directions. Sills is heading off to Brown University. Chafets has a new project, Ubetcha (with Brian Indig of Milk Dick), and Marty has a new band, Decisions, when he's not in classes at NYU or sitting in with gobbinjr or Arm Candy.
Each member of the band unequivocally agrees on that rooftop that the release show was their best set yet, which is hard to argue with. To be perfectly honest, when I first saw Glueboy just over a year ago (also at DBTS), I walked away a bit underwhelmed. They struck me at the time as just another bratty pop-punk band. And then I heard the song "Instant Coffee" from 2015's Videorama EP and I've been a big fan ever since. They still sport the same giddy enthusiasm that perfectly matches their upbeat tunes and befits their youth.
On Yikes, the band returns with the same melodic garage pop-punk they perfected on Videorama's stronger tracks. Here they demonstrate the ability to mix in some patience, opening the album with a slow-building "Foot Soldier" that erupts by the end.
On "Oral B", Chafets sings about brushing his teeth with bottled water in Chinatown, yet it's urgent and infectious enough to still be engaging. And that's where Glueboy succeeds, whether it's arguing about city planning or singing songs about toothpaste, they bring enough passion and enthusiasm that it's hard to ignore.
Maybe this really is the end of Glueboy, but it's hard to imagine that we won't be seeing plenty more out of these guys going forward. It just sucks to see a band with this kind of potential breaking up right as they're hitting their stride.