There are few bands whose influence is as simultaneously wide and specific as Glassjaw's. While surveying the land of post-hardcore, metalcore and hardcore over the last 20 years, it's abundantly clear which bands have a fondness for the Long Island group's pivotal mesh of pleading hooks and retina-popping heaviness. Daryl Palumbo's vocal delivery and Justin Beck's guitar playing sprouted entire scenes and set a post-hardcore template that bands of all varieties have been referencing for nearly two decades.
In honor of the 20-ish years since they released their first two albums, 2000's Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence and 2002's Worship and Tribute, the band are playing those records in full during a North American tour next March. With the excitement in the air, we examined 10 bands from the last two decades who wouldn't be here — or at least not sound the way they do — if Glassjaw didn't exist.
This one might seem obvious, but it simply cannot be overstated how important Glassjaw is to Every Time I Die's now-equally influential breed of chaotic yet oddly beautiful metalcore. "This album changed everything for me," frontman Keith Buckley wrote on Twitter last year about Glassjaw's 2000 debut. "I discovered them through my roommate at the time who had just moved from [Long Island] ... He played me the EYEWTKAS demo cassette that his brother had sent him. That was that. Game over." Pick any ETID song and the mark Glassjaw left is evident, but the one that actually features Palumbo, "Champing at the Bit," is a great choice.
It wasn't as obvious on the ragged screamo sounds of Touché Amoré's early material, but after they tapped Worship and Tribute producer Ross Robinson to helm their 2020 opus, Lament, the references became unavoidable. TA's frontman Jeremy Bolm is massive Glassjaw fan who called them a "life-changing band" in an interview earlier this year. "I'll never forget playing [EYEWTKAS] for the first time and not understanding how a band could mix every sound I ever was attracted to into one precise album," Bolm said. "This felt like mine. Glassjaw became my favorite band in the world."
Although Glassjaw isn't the first band that comes to mind while listening to Spiritbox's blend of groovy djent and proggy alt-metal, their presence is felt in the songwriting structures and delivery style, if not the exact tones and timbres. Take a Glassjaw track like "Trailer Park Jesus" from Worship and Tribute: the emotional guitar sweeps and Palumbo's warbly, weightless belt is similar to the soulful beauty of Spiritbox's devastating "Constance." Once you hear it, you can't un-hear it.
Old Wounds' connection with Glassjaw goes deeper than just their music. As the New Jersey hardcore group's vocalist Kevin Iavaroni told us in 2018, seeing a band with a member (Palumbo) who also openly struggles with Crohn's disease was transformative. "I remember trying to go see them when I was younger and they would cancel tours because he would have these flare-ups," Iavaroni said. "Very relatable band for me. ... I think Worship and Tribute is one of the coolest post-hardcore records of all time."
Beyond ETID, there are countless metalcore bands from the early 2000s who owe huge chunks of their sound to Glassjaw, and The Chariot were one of them. The now-defunct group — which was led by the rowdy Josh Scogin, a.k.a. Norma Jean's first vocalist — played a style of crashing-and-thrashing 'core that definitely drew from Glassjaw's heavier, wilder side. Sure, ETID themselves may have been more directly influential on the Chariot's early work, but considering how important Glassjaw were to them, they have an intrinsic impact by proxy.
Higher Power are unabashed Glassjaw heads. The U.K. band nestle somewhere between hardcore and alt-metal on their 2020 album, 27 Miles Underwater, and so much of their icy-hot uniqueness comes from their frontman Jimmy Wizard — an open member of the Church of Palumbo. "Daryl, in general, is a big influence on me to my approach with vocal style," Wizard said last year. "There is so much character in his voice and the way he really enunciates words." That approach comes through clear on the clean-unclean dichotomy of "Seamless," which also has quite a bit of Beck's guitar playing in the mix.
There aren't too many beastly metallic hardcore bands with transparent Glassjaw influences, but Vein are one of them. The Boston unit's crushing 2018 debut, Errorzone, also draws from the live-wire nu-metal of Slipknot and the head-walking mathcore of the Dillinger Escape Plan, but a song like "Doomtech" splits the difference between moody alt-metal and writhing post-hardcore in a way that feels distinctly Glassjaw-ian. Therefore, it made perfect sense when the two bands played a handful of dates together in 2017.
Before he came into his own in the rapcore group Fever 333, Jason Aalon Butler fronted the post-hardcore band Letlive and employed a vocal delivery that was almost entirely indebted to Palumbo's singing in Glassjaw. The contrast between soulful yet erratic crooning and spastic, visceral screams that made his voice crack and pop when he reached high-pitched shrieks couldn't have been mistaken for anyone other than Palumbo. In a 2013 Reddit AMA, a fan asked Butler to confirm or deny if he was inspired by Glassjaw. "That band was seminal," the vocalist wrote. "I think as an artist you'd be full of shit to say you're not influenced by artists you enjoy. ... To put it simply: We are not Glassjaw. They are better than us."
Although Stray From the Path's bouncy, rap-inflected hardcore is commonly compared to Rage Against the Machine, these Long Islander's also have some Glassjaw in their DNA. Speaking with Substream back in 2017, Stray's founding guitarist Tom Williams said that, although he's obviously influenced by Tom Morello's riff style, he also draws inspiration from Converge, Refused, Deftones and, unsurprisingly, Glassjaw. Go back and listen to a song like "Damien" and the lineage is unmistakable.
There's no way Sharptooth aren't influenced by Glassjaw. The Baltimore group play a melodic yet chunky style of jagged hardcore that's just skronky enough for frontwoman Lauren Kashan to scream, shout and wail over in a way that brings to mind the earlier, heavier Palumbo vocals. "Say Nothing (In the Absence of Content)" is a standout from their 2020 album, Transitional Forms, that would work well on a playlist with any track from EYEWTKAS — or any other band on this list, for that matter.