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The best kept secret in music


"Gloritone: "Fainter Farther Still""

If Gloritone had been playing in Seattle in 1991, it probably would have its own Behind the Music special by now. In 2001, however, drummer Scott Hessel could only get his Tempe band some radio play by appearing on The Howard Stern Show.

No, we're not going to rehash the infamous "banana split incident," except to say that Swan Dive deserves to be blaring from radios across the country. This album's opening track is a Nirvana-esque masterpiece of blistering guitar riffs, pummeling syncopations and sneering melodies.

Maybe it's just Tim Anthonise's fiercely melodic full-throat rasp, but the Nirvana influence is also unmistakable on tracks such as When in Rome, while others, including Die to Make a Dent with its low, half-growling guitar, fall more in the vein of the Meat Puppets.

Elsewhere, Gloritone explores farther afield. The Same Horse has a gently
hypnotic beat and chiming, ethereal guitars, and the exquisitely melancholy Dear Vesuvius, a minimalist construction of lo-fi rhythm loops and haunting acoustic arpeggios, shows the band is ready to compete in the Radiohead era.

Don't let the name-dropping comparisons fool you: Gloritone's music is definitely part of the post-punk tradition, but the songwriting is confidently original and consistently moving. This is Arizona rock at its best.
- Arizona Republic


"Cup Runneth Over", RCA Records/Kneeling Elephant Records, 1998; "Fainter Farther Still", Hayden's Ferry Records, 2001


Feeling a bit camera shy


Gloritone, the band named after a 1930s radio, first made national inroads in 1998, with a tour supporting Sunny Day Real Estate and a stunning debut album entitled Cup Runneth Over. Released on Kneeling Elephant Records (one of those indie-like subsidiaries major labels used to start and fold like so many newspapers) and produced by Bradley Cook (Counting Crows, Fu Manchu, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Ben Harper), the album (containing songs penned mainly by lead vocalist, Tim Anthonise) surprised many who expected more jangly Arizona “desert rock” and instead got blasted with energetic post-punk anthems (the explosive cover art should’ve been a tip off) that invited favorable comparisons to such bands as the aforementioned Foo Fighters, Husker Du, Goo Goo Dolls, Crazy Horse, Pearl Jam and Nirvana.

Record company politics delayed a timely follow-up for two years and in the interim, the band got its’ own recording gear and began using the studio as its ersatz fourth instrument. Once RCA shut down the Kneeling Elephant imprint, the band was free to self-release its’ post-Cup recordings in a package entitled Fainter Farther Still. That blistering brainstorm contained “Die to Make a Dent,” a sensational track already previewed on a Kneeling Elephant sample and “Swan Dive,” the song which saw Gloritone’s greatest media exposure when drummer Scott Hessel went on The Howard Stern Show and performed an unspeakable act in exchange for some Gloritone airtime. Decorum prevents us from reiterating the gory details here, needless to say, once his mission was accomplished, the King of All Media and his court jesters loved the song enough to let it play it all the way through (no surprise to Gloritone fans) and continued to play it on future broadcasts. Stern also fielded a call from John Titta, Senior VP of Creative Services for Warner/Chappell, who offered the band a deal with one of the largest publishing houses in the world.

And now, with world domination not exactly in their grasp but not outside the realm of possibilities either, the band weighs its various offers and continues to record music at its own pace. The band recently added former bassist from the Stereo, Chris Serafini, and is currently putting the finishing touches on their third CD.