Who is Glenn Case and how does he manage to put out so much music? His bandcamp page features 30 albums, the oldest going back to 2004 but 25 have come out just since 2015! Wow. I mean, even with my completist tendencies I tend to shrink from tackling such a challenge. Even he admits it might be problem. “I probably release too many albums,” he quips in his bandcamp bio. This whole ‘checking out the Glenn Case catalogue’ thing started for me when I searched ‘Andy Partridge’ looking for songs that paid tribute to everyone’s fave grumpy melody-meister – and Case’s song popped up. Not only did Case nail Partridge’s singing and song-writing style but the accompanying album had a load of other cool tunes.
I could tell you that I listened intently to all 30 albums and the few EPs and then carefully curated the tunes that appear below but let’s face it, I just cased the joint. I needle dropped my way through the bandcamp material looking for the most immediate ear-grabbing hooky stuff and this is what you get. Now, I do think these selected cuts are pretty special. Case is a musical chameleon, throwing a bit of everything at the listener depending on his mood: poprock, jazz pop, country, fake metal, even some hip hop. His vocal and song-writing styles makes his material distinctive, even as it vibes a bit of Chris Collingwood (Fountains of Wayne, Look Park), Jaret Reddick (Bowling for Soup) or Kasim Sulton (Utopia) sometimes. There’s even a hint of Macca here and there. I’ll start you with “Prime Time” from 2008’s So, Be Yourself EP. It’s a tight acoustic guitar-based poppy number that showcases Case’s clever lyrics and smart delivery. Then we can head to “The End of It” from another EP from that year, Waterfall of Consciousness. This one fills out the sound a bit more, vibing XTC, particularly in the hooky chorus. But it’s 2013’s Throw Money album where Case’s talent really raises its wattage with brilliant songs like “Glutton,” “Georgia’s Hand” and the masterful collaboration with The Odds’ Craig Northey, “Pencil Me In.” The latter’s got should-be hit single written all over it.
The flurry of material from 2015 on sees Case drawing inspiration from his many loves and obsessions: his wife, gaming, popular culture and the corporate control of music. He can be alternatively endearing and hilarious. I love “The Woman I Love” from his lovingly crafted 2015 tribute Songs for my Wonderful Wife. 2016’s The One That Ended His Career has so many great tunes, like songs from the ‘more listenable than you might think it would be given its title’ category e.g. “D&D at the Public Library,” or the addictively hooky “Don’t Go To …” and the ‘it’s so funny it hurts’ tune “I’m the President of the Sony Entertainment Corp. Ltd.” As we move forward time-wise songwriting craft and ingenuity come to the fore on tracks like “Rare” (from 2019’s Fighter #6), “High and Higher” (from 2020’s A Year of Mondays), and “Our Plans Are On Hold” (from 2021’s Kiss Me Again). Then 2022 happens and what does Glen Case do? He releases a whole album of songs about soup. It sounds like a gag but hey Case makes it work. The first single “Everybody Loves Chowder” is a winner with a delivery that really reminds me of Timmy Sean.