Bleach is an appropriate name for Glen Check‘s return after almost four years. Outside of the singles that appear on the album, the duo had disappeared from official releases after 2018’s “Velvet Goldmine.” I’ve listened to Glen Check since their Disco Elevator release and they have constantly tried new things and explored different audio territory.
One big question I had was, how do I react to Glen Check now after not hearing them for years? And also, what impression does a new audience get when they listen to Bleach?
My first impression is that Glen Check has stripped back to its origins while incorporating later styles instead of putting them front and center. Disco Elevator had a Postal Service-quality while Haute Couture finally sounded like Glen Check found its voice. Later releases dipped into more electronic pop rock and then electronic and club mixes.
It was jarring to hear the first singles because it was a big change from the mid-2010s releases. Glen Check features a band, mixed through synth, with auto-tuned vocals put through filters. It’s their old signature and fun to hear. Strangely, Glen Check was at the front of this trend when they debuted and they sound more natural in pop rock circles outside of South Korea.
But back to my first question – how do I react to Glen Check now? I like Bleach because it features the band’s style that I enjoyed the most. Over 13 songs, Glen Check gains my interest through many of them. There are many strong singles on this album and I can see this becoming a favorite of many people. But at the same time, I think I’ve aged out of Glen Check. I can appreciate what they’ve created, but it’s not a core style that keeps my attention 100%.
For new listeners, this will grab your attention because it is an album that goes beyond borders. With English vocals, you wouldn’t think this is a South Korean release. Almost any track fits a mood and fans will discover the single for them. I think it’s great that Glen Check released a new album after so long. The music sounds timeless even though it’s almost like a callback to their first releases.
Glen Check had an audience before Bleach, but will definitely find a new wave with this album. It’s a standout among their discography, surpassing the 2014-2018 period of the band easily.