Renowned for his exploits with Furyon and Colour Of Noise it is fair to say that firm intrigue and keen anticipation accompanied the news of the debut solo album of British singer/song writer/guitarist Matt Mitchell. Then rich clues to its prowess and enterprise was swiftly offered by the album’s lead singles and now finally here the self-titled affair more than lives up to all hopes and promise.
Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts create proper rock ‘n’ roll; music fuelled by passion and energy and shaped with fresh invention and rousing dynamics. As lead single Black Diamonds revealed earlier this year, it also is unafraid to embrace a host of styles and flavours to its melodic rock breast and imagination with Mitchell’s familiar potent tones and emotive writing at the helm; a diversity in full flourish within an album nevertheless showing nothing less than distinction to the band’s sound and presence.
With guitarist Mauro Laconi, bassist Dom Ladd, drummer Matt Cherry, and keyboardist Stevie Watts alongside, Mitchell immediately grips attention with his debut album, its collection of tracks inspired by “real human experience” sparked into life by the outstanding Black Diamonds. It is easy to understand why it made a thick impact upon release as the album’s first single a few months back and how it raised greater anticipation of this encounter. The track instantly had ears gripped in its groove lined vice, the lure of the guitar inescapable before being joined by the similarly magnetic boom of the bass and the Hammond bred haze of keys. No surprises as Mitchell’s voice joins the temptation, his tones as potent and compelling as ever in a track built on imagination and classic rock ‘n’ roll.
It is a superb start quickly and fully backed by the calmer but no less captivating infection that is Home. Its controlled but eager swing just infested body and spirit, its summery breath perfect against the emotive heart shared. With heat in its touch the song haunted the passions as too did the boisterous rock ‘n’ roll of On & On, another track needing mere seconds to get under the skin and draw the keenest of participation from voice and body.
Already predictability was noticeable by its absence, the fluid and individual twists and turns of the opening trio echoed across the album and within next up Dare You To Watch. A song with intimacy in its openness, its catchiness belying its fears, it easily captivated before Kings & Queens romanced attention with its fully played out affair. Though the track did not quite catch with the passions as those before, it held court with ease as too did Unavailable with its more forceful touch driven by its manipulatively animated stroll.
Do You Wanna Be My God proved another swift favourite here, the track as poppy as it is rock ‘n’ roll muscular; familiarity and originality colluding for an inescapable snare built on honest appraisal of the music world; heart bred emotions which also soak the balladry of next up Old Enough & Ugly Enough. It is a song which effortlessly held attention with Wave Goodbye and Everything To You both matching its draw with their respective groove rock canter and plaintive melodic journey towards new beginnings. The last of the trio especially enthralled and with greater potency across every play, another rich knack the album holds as a whole.
The final pair of Keep Me Safe and Waiting For The Sun ensures the album leaves on another high. Certainly neither quite hit the heights for personal tastes as numerous companions but there was no turning away from their individual weaves of stirring sound and creativity as well as emotional sincerity.
Engineered by Nick Brine and produced by Mitchell himself, the Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts album simply hit the spot time after time, a success we can only see being repeated with increasing persistence as it invites greater attention upon its release May 31st.
Pete RingMaster 30/05/2019
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