I suppose it isn't much of stretch for Matty James. He's definitely has some talent. With the release of his debut album Last One To Die, he goes from the horror punk of Cadaver Club and the punk and roll of Filthy Angels to melodic rock laced with everything from folk to blues to country and punk.
Excepting some help from friends from his other two projects, James wrote every song, played most every instrument, and also co-produced. Leading up to this, he had been touring, on the strength of two EPs, with only himself and his guitar to effectively work out the details.
I'm not sure if 'eclectic' is the right word for the songs within as there seems that common theme of James and guitar, whether electric or acoustic. There's a folk quality to several songs like This One's For ..., an acoustic ballad, or Leaving, which also reminded me of a pirate song for some strange reason, maybe the rhythm of the guitar. Some of the same occurs in The Cold Light of Night, where the song is definitely driven by the vocal arrangement and acoustic riffs.
There's a touch of English blues here. Don't Turn Your Light Out On Me could have been written as an Eric Clapton song, thanks to the guitar line. You get more of an acoustic side to this motif with Never Learn with its light harmonica. In the title cut, the early guitar lead sounds much like a blues slide guitar. It's another song with a good vocal arrangement, featuring hepl from Tyla J. Pallas of The Dogs D'Amour. Then, James can get more rambunctious, dosing songs with a bit of his punk and roll within Up In Smoke and Same Old Me (Brand New You).
When I listen to this album and hear the acoustic current, I can hear how these could have been road tested in small Northern Ireland pubs. Basically, I think Matty James is troubadour at heart. Not being a fan of horror punk, I'm glad that I did not know of James' other project as I would have likely dismissed him and this album. I hope others, fans et al, won't dismiss him either, simply because this doesn't fit into his other mold. Last One To Die is a fine effort from Matty James: interesting, surprising, and entertaining melodic rock. Recommended.
Last One To Die is a fine effort from Matty James: interesting, surprising, and entertaining melodic rock. Recommended.
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