Reverend Glasseye
Gig Seeker Pro

Reverend Glasseye

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Folk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Moonless carnivals - Review of Our Lady of the Broken Spine"

If 2005 was a signifying year for the impending doom of scourge from above, then Reverend Glasseye’s “Our Lady of the Broken Spine” should have been given its credit and made the soundtrack.

As the third album from this amazing Boston band, Glasseye’s latest release is an experimental stride, to say the least. Not only have the songwriting and production progressed, the aesthetics have become finely tune to a unique, impacting musical craft apt of truly altering the listeners’ perspectives.

It’s Glasseye’s voice that exalts the album. Weariness drives the leading vocals and remains cautionary throughout the album’s body. He may sound like he’s selling the listeners snake oil but he proves — again and again — he is genuinely a complicated artist who knows what he is talking about: salvation.

In a style that is difficult to label, the band’s sounds reflect that of a despotic church from the Old West — yodels, tripped-out twang, and all. Yet there is no need for a gimmick here — Reverend Glasseye rocks out in a fashion that can never be emulated by any alt-country gothic revivalist.

A distinct drudgery underlies the theme of the music of “Our Lady” and, unlike his other albums, there is the graduation from anything that might sound too much like Tom Waits.

Rather, this is one more suitable for punk rock funerals or moonless carnivals. Wavering singing can often play off of the lyrics or manifest the crux of the dynamically narrated songs. Aside from Reverend Glasseye’s vocal contributions, Piet Masone’s vocal range and the female harmonics also add to the intoxicating madness of it all.

Horns of different calibers bring a rich booming to many tracks and provide a rolling force for others. Solid drumming from one of the young greats, Tim Maher, ignites every track. There is always a bad-ass frenzy of guitar and the bass stands out solidly — two factors that definitely stood out to the crowd that voted Reverend Glasseye last year’s winner of the notorious Boston Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble.

In the end, “Our Lady of the Broken Spine” is a musical revival. This one is definitely worth its weight, whether it’s in the car or at a party. It is smart, it is sexy and it is timeless.

And it is only going to get better — Reverend Glasseye is working with an orchestra for his next project. So pick this one up before you have to play catch-up, and join in the fun before you lose any more faith or get swallowed up in the rapture. - UWM Post - Mark Maier

"Paste Magazine"

The right Reverend Adam Glasseye's world is one of palsied protestant rebels and indentured bare-knuckle boxers, of fire-and-brimstone preachers stalking a darkened, deserted hill country. And while it's an imaginary Gothic Appalachian America many have traversed before-from Nick Cave's early solo albums (and novel), to Glasseye's own former employer, Slim Cessna's Auto Club-somehow the Rev and his Boston-based eponymous band do more than rehash old illnesses on Broken Spine, the team's third full-length. Melodramatic ballads like “Belle's Palsy” and “Mother is a Carpegian” - executed in Glasseye's signature post-punk vaudeville manner – become minor-league classics of large-scale orchestration and country-goth glamour. - Justin Hopper

"Treble Magazine"

If the HBO show Carnivàle were set in the present day, and in Russia, rather than in America between the two World Wars, the music of Boston's Reverend Glasseye might fit the bill. Mixing music from the early days of radio, more recent music dramatists such as Nick Cave and Tom Waits, also a touch of gypsy and klezmer music, Adam Glasseye and his cabaret pals bring all this insanity to life. Our Lady of the Broken Spine is the band's second full-length release, four years in the waiting. Even though the band is made up of `yankees,' they pull off the Southern Gothic feel well, blending metropolitan cabaret theatrics with dark forest backgrounds and lyrics straight out of Poe or Flannery O'Connor.

One look at the cover of Our Lady of the Broken Spine should give you your first guidepost as to forming your opinions about Reverend Glasseye. A Munchian figure lies twisted and sprawled on the bleak forest floor, surrounded by leafless trees, an Edward Gorey figure waiting for a caption. It is yet again another combination of the urban and the rural, bridging the gaps between highbrow and lowbrow art. The songs within are much the same. There is really not one genre into which Reverend Glasseye (and his Wooden Legs, his first album added) easily fits. "King of Men" has a driving rhythmic drum march akin to Ravel's "Bolero" while its follower "Oh Lord, Why Have You Been So Cruel To Me?" sounds like what you might expect if you heard Bauhaus doing alt-country.

Glasseye's lyrics are like Melville writing Dickens, children born to bad circumstances, yet rising up to exact their revenge as in "The Cold House Hymns." In a way, Our Lady of the Broken Spine is like a Dostoevsky meets Kafka by way of Tim Burton version of Black Sheep Boy, as is evidenced in "God Help You Dumb Boy":

"Dumb Boy of what are you made?
My eyes are lazy, my skin doth flake.
What good can you do?
Not so much as men like you.
Dumb Boy what do you see?
Lesser men coming down on me.
Tell us, what will you do?
I will let me axe come down on you."

Like the dark and foreboding parallel universe of the Decemberists, Reverend Glasseye revels in the forbidden back streets of the `good old days.' Literary short stories make up the lyrics of the Boston band, the city that Sir Ian Faith, Spinal Tap's manager, famously described as `not a college town.' Glasseye is Tom Waits and Nick Cave, beset upon by Russian gypsy vampires, drunk on Stolichnaya, and sitting in with Dixieland horns. The beauty comes in its opposites, those mentioned above, the difference between Cold War era America and Russia, and class distinction. It's not so often that you get to see Pip rise up against his tormentors like Ahab, all while jig dancing to the sound of a vibraphone. - Terrance Terich

"Show Preview 5/12/05"

Black metal has a reputation for producing the darkest, most demented music, but much of it seems fairly juvenile, with synthetically lowered voices and everyone playing as fast as they can. Sinister intentions wedded to a more refined musical weapon can have a far greater impact, as evidenced by the likes of Tom Waits, Portishead and this fledgling band from Boston. Frontman Adam Glasseye is the preacher gone bad, relating tales of salvation turned inside out and demons leading the flock astray over music that's halfway between a tent revival and Moulin Rouge. The press release suggests they're a musical version of Flannery O'Connor, and there's definitely a strong whiff of Southern Gothic (. It's an entertaining mix of theater, excellent musicianship and American lit, the perfect antidote to Nashville's irony-deficient music scene. - Nashville Scene

"Happy End and Begin Review"

Reverend Glasseye hails from Beantown with a sound that can be revered by all: punkers, indie rockers and country fans alike. On The Happy End and begin EP, Adam Glasseye and his band are spot-on, combining an array of instrumentation with unyielding melodies and storytelling vocals. Reverend Glasseye, may in fact be a disciple of Nick Cave, Neil Diamond and Tom Waits, but he has a message of his own. - Illinois Entertainer


This EP barrels into a dark tunnel that sounds like it leads to a thousand destroyed concerts. This avant-garde outfit plays out like a drunken walk around the dirty streets of New Orleans, or like a secret party that has gone on into the darkest early morning hours. With vocals that sound like a hybrid of Nick Cave and Peter Murphy, and a storytelling style to rival Tom Waits, Reverend Glasseye are both a spectacular disaster and a charming achievement. Songs like “Last Standing Man” and “Sins of Portsmouth” ramble on like a page out of Bukowski, while a church organ, guitars, and a slew of other instruments plod on like a sombre, broken orchestra. Reverend Glasseye’s debut release Black River Falls was a well-received independent release, having gone into its fifth pressing. This is one of those discs that will give you that unstoppable urge to keep hitting play over and over again, and it wouldn’t be a surprise for this EP to be just as adored as the band’s debut - Liz Worth

"Ottawa Express"

Of all the tripe that's been blasted out in the last five years, I've finally heard something that's unpredictable and compelling and irrevocably damaged. I don't even begin to understand it. It breaks out like an Ennio Morricone western score and quickly rolls into an overly dramatic Tom Waits-like dirge. Organs, whispered voices... I imagine some kind of Irish high school marching band with Molotov cocktails whizzing past their heads in the bleak chaos of a street in Belfast. The compass is truly spinning on this one. It's carnival music for emotional wrecks and fingernail eaters. - Jeremy Milks


Formerly of Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Reverend Adam F. Glasseye has fashioned a quirky and entertaining style of his own that includes church organs, crashing symbols, tight and bright horns, and warbling vocals. The combination rests somewhere between Danny Elfman in the Oingo Boingo days, circus music gone wrong and the darkly intriguing orchestral offerings of DeVotchka.

The opening track, "Last Standing Man," sounds like something from a spaghetti western not only because of its name, but also its booming drums, bells and blasted trumpets. Next Glasseye unleashes decidedly creepy organs in "Spook the Turk's Nag" which also features just a splash of horns. The best song is the live version of "3 John Chain," which features all of the band's idiosyncrasies: chimes, quick little strums on electric guitars, sultry backing vocals by Wendy Emerson, moaning brass, bursts from the organ, and commanding and slightly scary Glasseye vocals.

A close second is "Sins of Portsmouth," which opens with a lively banjo solo and segue ways into a stripped-down story of forsaken morals and lost love. This short and intense EP provides just enough insight into Glasseye's gloomy genius to whet your appetite - Katrina Davenport

"Review of Happy End and Begin"

More than just a wicked nom de guerre, the Reverend Glasseye is an attention grabbing carnival monster. They sound just like as creepy as dope-addicted hillbillies on their latest creation, Happy End and Begin. Tinkling toy piano, cryptic organ grinding, spirited banjo plucking, and opulent horn tooting enhance the trembling vocals and twisted verse of it's freak ringleader, Adam F. Glasseye, who experiments with preternatural melodies like a mad scientist, deforming rhythm and sound with spine-chilling results. - Playback Magazine

"eight days a week"

Up in Boston, Reverend GLasseye performs shows that are stacked with declamation, philosophy and pomp. When all those elements are stacked up on the recent Happy End and Begin (Music for Cats), the overall effect is something like an ominous inversion of that hippie-era text, Godspell. Intriguing and Confounding. - Providence Phoenix


2001 Black River Falls

Charted Nationally on College Radio
Peaked at #106 on CMJ's Top 200
was #7 most added album
Played on Radio Stations in Germany, England, Canada, Japan, Finland, Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden
Distributed Nationally by Burnside Distributions.
Given a Feature Review on Canada's CBC

2004 Happy End and Begin EP
Charted Nationally on College Radio
Charted on Canadian Radio
#16 Most adds on CMJ

Distributed by Burnside Distribution and Scratch

2005 Our Lady of the Broken Spine

Charted on CMJ top 200 as well as the top 10 added list. Radio airplay worldwide.

Other recordings;
2007 - Rodentia: The best of Dark Roots
2008 - The Insect Fable
2009 - One Year Demos



Reverend Glasseye’s career has been a curious one. Adam Glasseye, the band’s curator, got his start in the Gypsy Cabaret scene that saw the rise of both the Dresden Dolls and Gogol Bordello, and while Reverend Glasseye has never had the same success, they have enjoyed an international noteriaty and mystery. With each recording, Adam Glasseye has let his life experiences, his sadness and joy, direct the music. Recently, the gypsy carnival has been left behind for a balladry reminiscent of early Leonard Cohen or Scott Walker. Lyrically, the good Reverend takes his cues from Flannery O' Connor and Edgar Lee Masters. Live, the Reverend captivates audiences with songs that whisk you into a strange world. His shows are endearing, intimate and conversational. Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Curious World of Reverend Glasseye.

Their first record Black River Falls was warmly welcomed by press and radio alike, ranking number seven on CMJ's most added list and claiming a spot on the top 200 for six weeks. The Album has gone on to sell thousands of copies worldwide, creating an international underground following, and has been honored with accolades from the likes of the Boston Music Awards, Boston Phoenix awards, Performing Songwriter Monthly and the CBC. A quirky oompah record, Black River Falls is still considered a cult mainstay.

Our Lady of the Broken Spine was released in the fall of 2005 to a very receptive fourth estate and an immediate placement on the CMJ top 200.

After Our Lady of the Broken Spine, Adam Glasseye moved to Austin Texas and recorded the lost record, “Insect Fable” with Dresden Dolls drummer, Brian Viglione.

After an extended hiatus, Reverend Glasseye reformed with a quieter and darker sound thanks to the dueling cellos of Randall Holt and Barbara Arriaga (Yann Teirsen) the experimentations of organ player, Scott Hinman, and the acute craftsmanship of drummer Thom Washburn.

Reverend Glasseye won Boston’s Rock and Roll Rumble of 2005 and has opened for
Rasputina, Gogol Bordello, Sex Mob, The World Famous Pontani Sisters, Dresden Dolls, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, The Decemberists and Arcade Fire.

They are currently working on a new album, tentatively titled “One Year Lost at Sea.”