Hidden metal gem: The short story of Glass

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Glass is (was) an American heavy metal band from Wakefield, Massachusetts. In their original incarnation, the band released a three-song recording in 1987. Then, for all intents and purposes, it looks as though Glass disappeared. The problem though, for fans of heavy metal, is that quality music like that created by Glass didn’t have an opportunity to catch on.

Finding Glass on accident

I found Glass when I was looking for other heavy metal bands on YouTube. As I was a child in the 1980s, I am well aware of numerous new wave and heavy metal bands. Therefore, when I find an artist name or song that I haven’t heard of, I try to find out what I can. I realize, too, that it is impossible to learn about every band. However, something about Glass was interesting, and I was determined to get to the heart of the problem.

Glass’ song “Hold On To the Night” was suggested for me. The song generated a number of comments, and I listened while reading the comments. What was extremely interesting to me was that Glass lead singer, Mike Salvo, responded in the comments. Essentially, he explained that without the tools for exposure that today’s bands have, it was difficult for the band to get the attention it deserved.

I could see the logic in that. Further poking around on the Internet revealed that the members of Glass were teenagers and couldn’t afford to tour outside of the Boston area.

And, so, there it was, the brief, somewhat sad story of Glass. But the three songs they released were awesome, and in my humble opinion on par with bigger names of the time, and better than a few.

“Hold Onto the Night”

As another YouTube commenter pointed out, the production quality isn’t great. However, I always find it telling when a band sounds great (talent-wise) despite technological challenges. If the talent were non-existent, no amount of polish would help a band to sound great.

On “Hold Onto the Night” listeners are treated to solid, yet malleable vocals, drums that thump and shimmer in all the right places and steady, searing guitar work.

The song captures that essence of the 1980s that I thought all successful rock songs of the period did. Now that I know they were teenagers at the time, I am more impressed with this track.

“Fire at Will”

I had to go to ReverbNation to find the other songs, including this one, and I’m glad I did. For some reason, I try not to use the word “super” more than I have to–that said, this song struck me as super energetic. The hard and heavy riffs made me pay attention, and the pounding drums took on a life of their own. It reminded me of an early version of Motley Crue.

From what I have heard of Glass, I recognize traits of heavy metal bands that I like. It seems like all the components were there. The story of Glass made me wonder how many other bands came so close to “making it,” but for one reason or another were denied a broader audience.

I am not naïve enough to believe every artist can be discovered. However, it does make listeners speculate what might have been, if only things had been different. Contemporary listeners can take advantage of technology and track down any number of lesser-known artists. For heavy metal fans, Glass is worth the effort it takes to find them.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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