If ‘grind house blues’ was not a musical genre before Mattiel, it is now.
Citing Peter, Paul, and Mary and White Stripes as respective influences, Atlanta-based singer Mattiel, bassist Randy Michael, guitarist Jonah Swilley, and drummer Jordan Manley have fused vibrant 60’s Rock ‘N’ Roll with new-age funk to create something that makes the listener nostalgic for the new.
In Mattiel’s most recognizable song, ‘Whites of Their Eyes’ (a song that deserves to play over one truly fantastic Tarantino fight scene in the near future) is a desperado jam full of drum beats and vocal tweaks, inspired by one of the most famous battle cries of the American Revolution. And if every part of that sentence doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what possibly can.
‘Bye Bye’ is a 1957 Ford Fairlane made into song form. It’s a greaser jamboree on an iPod; A accidental (or maybe not at all accidental) thematic vein that winds through the majority of the tracks on the album, shared with songs like ‘Just a Name’ (to a mellower degree) and ‘Not Today.’
‘Five and Tens’ is a guitar-heavy rock jam that exudes soul from every slap of the tambourine and ‘Count Your Blessings’ is the theme song Romero films always deserved.
Mattiel’s self-titled album from Burger Records is an amalgamation of several things that shouldn’t work together, but do. Singer, designer, videographer, photographer and illustrator Mattiel Brown is an artist in every sense of the word and not the least of which as a musician. She’s risky and original and creates a sound that might take the listener aback or might take a listener Way Back When.
Mattiel releases today, and if you’re looking for a dancey radio tune with a rap breakdown and an ad infinitum refrain, Mattiel is probably not your bag. If you dig Jefferson Airplane before they became Jefferson Starship, give her a listen.