Album Reviews

Album Review: Glitterer – Life Is Not A Lesson



Release Date: 26th February 2021

Record Label: Anti-

For Fans Of: Title Fight, Drug Church, Turnstile 



When Title Fight effectively ceased to be in 2016, co-frontperson Ned Russin quickly found a creative outlet through his new project Glitterer. By 2017 Russin had produced two lo-fi EPs of bedroom-pop songs recorded with programmed drums, giving the project a very humble feel. Over time Russin began to up the scale of the project, making use of live drums and reaching for a more polished sound with 2019’s debut Looking Through The Shades. Now with Glitterer’s second full-length album, Russin has managed to produce a record which feels much closer to a full-band sound while retaining all the quirky heart of those first EPs. 

Life Is Not A Lesson doesn’t so much storm out of the gates but rather casually saunters through, with massive slacker-rock vibes which help define so much of its character. The simplistic fuzzed up riffing of ‘Bodies’ and ‘Are You Sure’ establish the timeless feeling of an endless summer holiday. This feeling is key to the charm of the record, and despite the sometimes surprising turns it takes, that care-free nature is the one constant that ties it all together. 


Even with the punk attitude at its heart, Glitterer aren’t afraid to throw in heaps of dreampop melody in ‘Birdsong’; synths that could have been pulled straight from an 90s arcade in ‘Try Harder Still’; and even a wholly electronic track with ‘How A Song Should Go. Along with its brevity, this mixtape-like approach ensures that what are really quite simple songs manage to retain their intrigue and means you’re never left in one place long enough to realise.

However, the record’s main strength is also the cause of its only real downfall. It’s brief run-time means that tracks often feel quite difficult to grab hold of, and sometimes they do feel a little closer to mood-boards than fully formed songs. This is certainly a difficult balance for Glitterer to strike though, as pushing the songs any further would likely damage the minimalist feel which makes the record so endearing. Yet after a few listens you will soon discover they have still wormed their way into your consciousness regardless. 

Life Is Not A Lesson is exceptionally good at suspending time. Thanks to its short length one listen never really feels enough and you will find yourself hitting play again as soon as it has finished. But not because it feels like there is anything more to discover. Instead, songs like ‘Didn’t Want It’ create such a relaxing and hazy feel-good atmosphere that you’ll never want to leave their embrace. 

Rating: 7/10

Recommended Tracks: ‘Birdsong’, ‘Try Harder Still’ 

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