Matt Stevens -Relic (2011)

Posted: September 30, 2011 by Is This Revolutionary? in Album, Reviews
Tags: ,

Matt Stevens will always have a home here at Is This Revolutionary?. His style is one-of-a-kind (to me, at least [I’ve yet to find a duplicate]), and he’s always been supportive of our little thing we do here, so it’s easy to stand behind this man. At the same time, we don’t go soft, so let’s begin.

The first track, “Nightbus”, picks up exactly where Ghost leaves off, but then there is an unexpected twist: drums. Yes, my dear readers, drums and bass and chimes. I was in such shock that I kind of tuned out the rest of the track and had to start it over again. The guitars were beautiful, but then in come other instruments. And there they were again in “Relic”, and at this point, I didn’t know what to do. I had the utmost respect for this man, but he was completely changing the reason why I loved his music so much. I couldn’t, I just couldn’t, so I put the album down. I waited from the 24th of September until today so I could give an accurate evaluation of his work, and not the disappointment I had felt from his change in style.

To be perfectly honest, the addition of all those extra instruments didn’t exactly detract from this album. In fact, when I got back into the album, I realized he was still doing the looping of guitar again, just this time with extra instruments. Well, at least he gave me that. Going back to “Relic”, his ability to even put this all together by himself is unbelievable, so even if it’s not an entirely “Matt Stevens” album, the guy has got some skills.

What I did like on this album was his experimentation in his guitar lines. He still has a couple of songs that has that higher-pitched chords that remind me of Spain (not that I’ve ever been, but just the feeling) that made me fall in love with his music on Ghost. This time around, however, he takes it to new extremes with songs like “Frost”, that go super-heavy (not surprising, given his taste in music), and “Scapegoat”, which has this Minus The Bear type feel to it.

Rating: Barring my initial disappointment, Relic wasn’t that bad of an album. Matt Stevens can be so creative sometimes, and his addition of other instruments was beautiful, but not really the reason why I listen to him. All the songs are really good, don’t get me wrong, and I’d definitely recommend this album to anyone who’s interested in a one (or two) man post-rock band. It’s a different direction than Ghost, but a good one nonetheless. 3.5/5 kegs, good work.

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