If like for us The Welcome Matt is a new name despite being around for many years and having numerous studio releases, the new album The Panhandle Years is a must investigation, especially if melodic yet feisty guitar indie rock is like an aural beacon for your senses. Consisting of eighteen tracks taken from the seven albums released by the band, it is a compilation to light up the appetite and fire up the heart, and an instant and not to be denied invitation to check out the releases spawning the songs making this album so enjoyable.
The Welcome Matt is the solo project of San Francisco based musician Matt Langlois, something which on the evidence of the compilation has been the source of rather impressive rock pop songs for quite a time. From 2009 to last year, Langlois spent all his concentration and time with the musical project, Members Of Sound. This involved releasing a new song every month for two years and resulted in two major CD releases from his work with an array of Bay Area musicians and producers. During that period Langlois also played around 200 gigs and made a video with singer/songwriter Megan Slankard. His bio says “My main objective was to maintain a creative state for a sustained period of time while chronicling the musician’s journey as I’ve seen it and known it.” As that statement and the songs on The Panhandle Years show he is an artist who puts his all physically and mentally into his music, the craft and emotive energy of songs an obvious clarity.
The album opens with the latest single Karma, a song which from its rhythmic teasing and mellow caresses takes no time in capturing the imagination. The vocals harmonies lead the infectious chorus and stride of the song whilst the heated sonics of the guitar leave trails across the surface of the song like the rays of the sun. It is a wonderful piece of rock pop and an instant long term love affair for the heart such the delicious enterprise and beauty.
Without knowledge of the chronology to the tracks and their placing it has to be said the high quality and consistent irresistibility is immense across the tracks showing that Langlois has never been short on writing impressively imaginative songs and bringing them to the ear with great craft and invention. The likes of the dizzying I Will, with its shuffling stroll and melodic guitar flames, and the Kinks spiced On My Way a song which is just glorious in its rich melodic textures and mesmeric charm, just ignite stronger passion for the release, each irresistible pieces of well defined and stylish rock n roll.
The Panhandle Years also has a strong diversity across its songs which is as absorbing as the vibrant sounds they carry, songs like the Bolanesque What Are We Gonna Do, the excellent and quirky 12 Stone Toddler sounding Longing with its magnetic hooks, and the country folk/Brit pop fusion Into Your Own, as well as the rock driven Tremorland with its excellent raw surface, all leaving one basking in full pleasure from very individual stances.
It is also fair to say every track is a delight, a stirring slice of thrilling and senses charging joy but some certainly stand tall alongside Karma, On My Way, and Longing as the biggest triumphs. There is the brilliant Obstacle Ground, a storming and electric enticement with discord twanging guitars and swaggering bass lines to the fore and sounding like something akin to early Squeeze, as well as In San Francisco (Wake Me Up) with its lush melodies and big hearted energy to leave one soaked in imaginative elegance and contagious might. Arguably the greatest song on the album is Sing Something, though that choice changes from listen to listen to be fair. The track just bursts with energising textures and compulsive grooves, with the only result being adoration in its direction. It is a flawless pop song , insatiably catchy whilst full of unpredictable invention to leave one enthralled and inspired.
The Welcome Matt is a band all melodic rock and indie pop fans need to know about and The Panhandle Years easily the perfect introduction.
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright