The Glenrustles

In Stone

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The Glenrustles are the perfect embodiment of a small-label band from Minnesota -- fiercely independent, sarcastic, and scrappy. Singer Rich Mattson's rough voice perfectly matches the band's rough edges. On its second album, In Stone, the band infuses elements of punk and grunge into a gentle roots rock foundation. The jarring changes often occur within the same song, as in "Truth Hurts" and "San Fran Stymie." Other songs are easier to digest, such as "Learning to Adjust" and "I'll Get to It." This last song features Stuart Martz on violin. The resulting overall sound represents the best of better-known rock bands from Minneapolis, like the Replacements and Soul Asylum. The rough-and-tumble spirit of the band comes through most clearly on tunes like "Deathwish Freaks," "Punching the Drunk," and "Drop Me Off at Daryl's," which is about a musician whom Mattson admires because he can drink a whole case of beer and still play a show. The sarcastic "Master of the Universe" is especially memorable as well. The Glenrustles are the type of band whose chemistry works only because it is independent and little-known. If they ever went mainstream, the whole charm of the band would be lost. They are best left in their own little world. May they never get discovered.

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