Xander Naylor's "Bad For Glass" is a wild track. The second song on the Brooklyn-based guitarist's latest solo LP, Arc, it takes the form of a manic, expressionistic instrumental piece, and the video that accompanies it adds another layer of enthralling disorientation.
While much of the rest of the album takes its notes more clearly from noise rock or ambient music, "Bad For Glass" has a dynamism that demonstrates Naylor's range. It's a technically impressive track, with lightning-fast work on the fretboard of his guitar, but it never crosses the line into mere indulgence. The transitions from phrase to phrase make it feel like a living thing, with a pause between each as if it was catching its breath.
In the video (shot by Yuan Liu and edited by Naylor himself), we see the artist in a stairwell with his guitar, alternately playing along and manipulating a glowing ball. Most of the shots are presented with quick, jagged cuts, and he occasionally smirks at the camera before returning to his instrument.
There's no clear narrative, and in this context, that's just fine. "Bad For Glass" isn't about a breakdown, a loss of control, or any of the other vignettes this sort of experimental music so often evokes (at least not obviously). Instead, it's an opportunity to revel in sound for the sake of sound, texture for the sake of texture—and at that, it succeeds spectacularly.