Glow & The Dark is a San Diago based pop-punk band comprised of guitarist and vocalist AJ Peacox, who also plays in the excellent Arizona-based Sundressed, and drummer Jordan Krimston, who also plays with AJ in the enigmatic Weatherbox. On their self-titled EP, Glow & The Dark go all-in on a gambit to capture the bluster of early ’00s pop-punk, of the variety that crossed paths with the ascendant pop emo of the same era more often than it didn’t. Even though their logo looks like it should belong to a black metal band of questionable quality and political tendencies, their music is actually as bright as it comes. Huge glimmering hooks crashing into the pliant and inviting pulse of a soft-hearted beat on which a ballroom of unapologetically earnest lyrical themes waltz to a melody forged in a hearth of grandiose optimism. If you don’t feel something while listening to this stuff, it’s not them, it’s you!
Opener “Kickstand” (which is apparently about a baby skunk that AJ saved from being stuck in a Starbucks cup) is brief and jittery, but leaves a lasting impression, as its waves of enthusiasm quickly melt the shield of apprehension which we cloak ourselves in to deal with the disappointments of the world. Once your guard is down, Glow & the Dark comes sailing back at you with the warm-winded spin-up of “We Can Do Whatever,” a track that will catch you with its trust-fall grooves and wrap you in the pastel-colored swaddle of its sweeping vocal melodies. “What to Say” starts off with a choppy march before erupting into some Tsar-esque, crank-up-the-volume worthy solos that bat and paw around the edges of supercharged grooves. The EP then rolls into the Chuck Taylor sheathed, VFW bingo-hall stomp and spiral of “LxL” before bringing it down a beat for the slow rising reveal and shimmer of “Big Moon” and the shout-along, acoustic jam “Sunshine is Boring,” which dropped as a standalone single back in 2020.
Summer is here and COVID is quickly on its way out. You’re going to need some tunes to porch party with your friends soon, and if you pick up Glow & The Dark’s self-titled EP, you’ll be well on your way to building out your sunny afternoon playlist.
You can buy and stream Glow & The Dark’s self-titled EP below via Bandcamp: