One of the higher profile "ex-members of" groups to emerge in quite some time, Maritime features the talents of ex-Promise Ring singer/guitarist Davey VonBohlen, drummer Dan Didier, and former Dismemberment Plan bassist Eric Axelson. While the thought of a merger between TPR's hardcore-gone-power-pop and D-Plan's hardcore-gone-digital funk sounds like a train wreck waiting to happen, things could have turned out far worse. The band has wisely steered clear of any funky pyrotechnics; Glass Floor
cautiously juxtaposes the snappy, giddy pop of Very Emergency
with the AOR influences that had become pervasive by the end of The Promise Ring's career. The results are a mixed bag.
Maritime have uncorked a batch of winners here; the gliding "Sleeping Around" is mindlessly catchy, "Some One Has to Die" turns maudlin subject matter into a gleeful three-minute sing-along, and the horn-stung "Adios" is a healthy blast of breathy '60s pop exuberance. But with the good comes the bad: mid-tempo stinkers like "King of Doves" and "Lights" are little more than watered-down MOR cannon fodder. Plenty of albums split the difference between gems and junk, but the biggest problem with Glass House is that it lacks any discernible anima; the band seems to be phoning in their performance from a comfy armchair somewhere in Milwaukee. That's a disturbing development for three men who once stood at the top of their heap.