The Gloria Record – A Lull in Traffic – Review

The Gloria Record

A Lull in Traffic (Crank!)
by Tim Den

Fronted by ex-Mineral guitarist/vocalist Chris Simpson, The Gloria Record sound like the next logical step Mineral would’ve taken had they not broken up. Equal parts Britpop (Radiohead, Travis), American pop (Elliott Smith), and American indie (Sea And Cake, Low), A Lull in Traffic is a post-emo band trying to make amends for their past, elongated whining with tender melodies and a heart-warming backdrop (thank goodness for organ pianos!). It succeeds on many levels, particularly in its attempt to create hypnotic atmosphere with its Smiths guitars and dreamy keyboard backgrounds, but the inability of Simpson to sing beyond his grasp of a few notes ultimately keeps the band from reaching full potential. While his characteristics are what makes him unique (and made Mineral such a powerful band), it becomes obvious that — with the music The Gloria Record is shooting for — he’s going to need to stretch further. Imagine how far Donovan or Burt Bacharach would’ve gone if they kept singing the same two notes in every song. A Lull in Traffic is proof that the sacrifice of Mineral was perhaps worth it (look for other ex-Mineral members doing well; particularly in Pop Unknown), but it’s not (yet) the best reward that the demise has to offer.