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Glow Review

by Stewart Mason

The third album from San Francisco's Unjust starts with a brief, moody fake-out, "Paper Planets," an instrumental that would not sound out of place on a mid-period Cure album, before launching headfirst into "Throwin' Pennies," a by-the-book blend of emo and nu-metal that sounds like it was created in a Clear Channel focus group. That sound continues unabated -- and nearly entirely unchanged -- throughout the rest of Glow, making it an album of remarkable emotional and stylistic consistency but a tiresome, deadening listening experience. The band is not without its strengths -- singer Paul Mendoza at times recalls Faith No More's Mike Patton, no mean feat, and the rhythm section of bassist Eric Wong and drummer Brian Palkowski packs a solid alt-rock wallop -- but the songwriting never shows more than occasional flashes of strength. ("Falling," for example, has the album's catchiest and most memorable chorus.) Individually, you might not turn these songs off if they came on the radio, but as a whole, Glow is simply kind of boring.

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