Start Here, the brilliant debut album from The Gloria Record is back on vinyl at long last. Originally released in April 2002, the ten songs are bolstered with four bonus tracks including rarity ‘The Dead Brother’, a live version of ‘L’Anniversaire Triste’ and demos of ‘I Was Born In Omaha’ and ‘My Funeral Party’.
Start Here will be released on black double vinyl in a gatefold sleeve on April 16th. Big Scary Monsters ‘Family Friend Legend’ subscribers will receive an exclusive, limited edition orange/yellow variant along with a free 7″ from label mates Gender Roles. Sign up at https://bsm.rocks/fflegends by March 20th for that or pre-order the black vinyl via bsmrocks.com.
Talking about the record, singer / guitarist Chis Simpson said: “What I remember most about making ‘Start Here’ was the immersive experience. We made three separate trips to Lincoln, NE and set up camp at Presto! Recording, home of the infamous Mogis brothers, Mike and AJ. We had recorded ‘A Lull In Traffic’ with them the year prior when they were still operating Dead Space out of the basement of their shared house. We moved in and laid out sleeping bags in random corners and isolation booths of the studio and commenced to working around the clock for two weeks at a time on each trip. Mike was kind and trusting enough to leave us to it at night when he left after our evening trip to the bars on O Street, retiring to his one room apartment a few blocks away. He would come in in the mornings and try to make sense of what we had done in his absence the night before, and plan our days work ahead. We were all very excited about the record we were making and had grand ambitions of world domination in its wake. We had no label when we started and had to borrow money from friends to fund the recording.
“The making of ‘Start Here’ will always be tied in my mind to the events of September 11, 2001. We were on our last of three trips to Nebraska to finish the record when the events of that fateful day occurred. Because all air travel was shut down we were stranded in Nebraska for a spell. We had already scheduled mastering of the record in Omaha, so we made our way there for the ceremonious ritual of mastering/sequencing. I remember crying listening to the record all finished and together. Some of that was surely the catharsis of finishing something we had spent so much time on and that had felt so hard to make. Some of it was an acknowledgement that our world had changed irreversibly. We used to refer to the last two tracks on the record (‘Salvation Army’ and ‘Ambulance’) as the Twin Towers (this was prior to 09/11). To me, the sound of the string break before the ending of ‘Salvation Army’ and those lyrics sum it up: “the world’s attached to strings that pull us to the sun where we’ll burn for what we’ve done…” and then the incendiary outro is the sound of those buildings coming down. And ‘Ambulance’ is the denouement, but kind of a shell-shocked feeling. Looking back on it now it strikes me as a womblike work that tells the story of a Great Depression I was in the throes of at the time, and an isolation that felt like it couldn’t be broken or sustained. I turned 27 that month too and there was a sense that my youth and opportunity were slipping away, my own twin towers of innocence and idealism crumbling as well. During the subsequent touring I think we all started to come out of our shells a bit. I know I lightened up a lot. Regardless, I think it will always be a difficult and complex record for me to look back on.”
Following the demise of emo band Mineral in 1997, singer/guitarist Chris Simpson (Mineral/ Zookeeper/ Mountain Time) and bassist Jeremy Gomez reunited to form The Gloria Record. Taking an acoustic and more organic approach than their previous work, The Gloria Record (with the addition of guitarist Brian Hubbard, drummer Matt Hammon, later replaced by Brian Malone and Ben Houtman on the keys, organs and synthesisers) were unarguably the logical progression from Mineral’s emo throes – quieter, delicate and fervently impassioned. Heralded as a “band with big visions and bombastic sounds”, the quintet fostered their admiration for artists with similar arena sized visions ( Radiohead, REM, U2) to produce a sound that was reminiscent of their British contemporaries and American indies.In 1998 the band released their self-titled EP, followed by the intricate offering of 2000’s A Lull In Traffic and 2002’s full length effort Start Here, before disbanding after extensive US tours in 2004.