For Fans Of: Thrice, Brand New, Defeater, Alexisonfire
Hailing from Santa Clarita, CA, MATTER bursts onto the post-hardcore scene with their debut album The Man. The bands formation was kept a secret from many of their friends until the band felt that they created something that was worth listening to. Singer Elijah Kellogg explains:
We did our best to keep practices and our music on the DL from friends and family all this time because we believed that if this band was really going to work out, then only time and our writing process would tell. We were completely turned-off by the idea of being one of those bands that has a bunch of social media friends but nothing good to show for themselves. Once we finished recording our first album and knew it was going to be something worth listening to, that’s when we decided to make it official. Thus, we just recently came out of the closet and started telling everybody about us. It took a lot of people by surprise, but the response we’ve been getting has already made that year and a half of silence worth it.
When I first read that from our email correspondence, I thought ‘OK, these guys mean business’. Then I read on to understand that Elijah also ‘officially’ created the band’s own label; Matter Records. This allows the band to be in full control of their own music, mixing, mastering, pressing, produce their own merch, book their own tours, and hunt for their own press. Many independent bands may do that as well, but what also makes Matter different is that 50% of all digital sales to the non-profit organization Life Impact International to help rescue children from slavery and sex-trafficking.They’re strong believers in paying-it-forward and the ‘human’ effect of being part of something bigger than yourself for the benefit of others. How many other indie bands do you know that are equally concerned about making money for themselves as they are about giving it to charity?
Combining all the elements we love from Thrice and the story-telling ability of Defeater, The Man is a strong debut, and is also the first of 2 albums which will reveal the whole story. The second album And The Terror to be released next year.
“Rapture” kicks off the album with a soft take off and features the flawless instrumentation that’s sure to put these guys on the map. After they suck you in, at about the 3:16 mark the songs then billows into a hardcore whirlwind. Lyrically showing the Dustin Kensrue quality of carrying out a message larger than the music itself “Our terror will die and man will reign/ Long live the man, whoever you be/ We serve you with grace, whatever it means/ Those who you hate, let us hate them more/ The tongue and the eye: our weapons of war/ Indulgence: our vice. Contentment: our name. Pleasure: the prize. Careless: the game/ We serve those who bid with selfish demand/ No gods. No kings. No laws. Only man.”
“Teeth” follows the lure of temptation, deception and corruption and keeping the right company. “Around here, the wolves that lead all wear the latest sheep. Around here, the one who gets the final say bares the sharpest teeth. And that’s me. You better stick with me.”
“Stammer” has to be my favorite track on the album, with a sweet smooth flow and then builds up to a combustion of a vocal performance: “I’m drinking my own blood/ Is it strong enough to get the job done?/ I’m drinking my own blood/ Am I strong enough, strong enough?/” Then once you think it’s about to end, it picks back up again for a thunderous outro.
“Regicide” is a bleeding-face hardcore stomp that immediately feels like you’re listening to an unreleased Thrice track on the chorus. “We will not sleep/ ‘til we are the gods/ that we want to be/ no matter the cost. Fake or real:/ I do not care/ as long as I am happy where I am.”
“Company” keeps the pulse pounding with more screaming hardcore elements and swirling verses and breakdowns on the outro. “It always ends this way: the surprise and the fear on your face/ Screaming I can’t believe this is fair/ but what’d you expect when you’d dared to trust me/ and bet your own life by the size of my teeth?/ Did you think/ we’re a team? You thought wrong/ Step back/ Reflect/ You’re alone/ You are to blame/ Reap what you sow”
“The Man” immediately reminded me of the Stabbing Westward tune “Goodbye” (after questioning, no correlation). A slow dark track with minimal instrumentation to leave the album on a quiet note. In our interview, Elijah had this to say about the song:
This part of the story is where our character realizes he has nothing left. Everything he had put stock in has turned on him, which makes the first line—“So this is feeding with the swine”—so perfectly pathetic and still very insightful. Another line that I’ve always loved is “If there’s a lord behind these lies, then I’m the smallest of his flies,” which fits two references to Satan in one awesome reference to William Golding’s masterpiece on the real nature of humanity. I have to add that I enjoy how the song ends, leaving the audience to consider if there is really any hope for this sad individual that they, hopefully, have really grown to relate to.
There are many elements to the album and the variation on the tracks makes for high replay value. If this is only the beginning, I’m eager to see what comes next.
The album can be purchased for only $6 through http://www.matterband.com/ (digital booklet included)
Booking Agent: Booking [at] matterband.com