Matty James

Going solo back in 2012, Matty has moved on from the Horror Punk, and Punk ‘n’ Roll projects for what is a more Southern to Folk feel for his debut “Last One To Die”.

As the album opens; the initial thought is something akin to Helldorado or Nick Cave, as the dark southern vibe of “Leaving” washes over you with the acoustic guitar and smooth vocals. This is compounded with the dark and broody album cover; and as Matty declares he is ‘Leaving’, you wonder what journey he is about to take you in with the album.

While “Up In Smoke” has more a Punk vibe with it’s punchy guitars and Rock ‘n’ Roll rhythm, not to mention harmonica.

While “Don’t Turn Your Lights Out On Me” is a gentler track as the guitar work guides you, blending acoustic and electric to carry you on.

“Never Learn” is a standout track, powerful in it’s simplicity. The vocals coming across older, and perhaps even solemn.

Things take a change from the softer preceding track, to the electric opening of “Same Old Me (Brand New You)” which is uplifting in its feel. As the acoustic guitar takes over from the electric; and a track to give the audience chance to sing along to, possibly one of those great pub songs – aided by a Rock ‘n’ Roll riff underpinning the track. However; the lyrics are actually a little darker as this love song unfolds, and no doubt a situation a lot of men have felt.

Matty James

The title track “Last One To Die”, has an almost anthemic road trip feel to it’s opening. You can imagine the road opening up as the electric guitar whines. The track unfolds with that guitar carrying you in between the vocal breaks.

“By The Cold Light Of Night” slows down not only the tempo but the energy, as the the vocals take you on a lonely journey of the guitar player on the road; wanting to simply go home to his loved one.

Closing proceedings is “This One’s For…”, and the harmonica opening and acoustic guitar gently prepares you for the end of this smokey, bluesy- fuelled ride.

What got me about this album; aside from the catchy rhythms and the story telling lyrics, is the way a number of genres appear to be fused together effortlessly. They all appear to be centred around a core Bluesy, Southern Rock ‘n’ Roll feel. Although at times it becomes hard to describe the album as the genres do seem at odds from the Punk ‘n’ Roll, through to the more gentler Southern vibe.

With clever and varied use between acoustic and electric guitars you get the impression that Matty is comfortable with any guitar-no, make that any instrument in his hands. This is definitely one to listen to, and one I found hard to put down. Matty has talent in abundance. Bearing in mind he wrote every song, and performs the full instrumentation of a band (end quote!). You cannot help but expect to hear a lot more from this guy!

“Last One To Die” is released on June 2nd on Matty’s own label, Pirate Heart Records, and is a available to pre-order from here.

Track Listing
Up In Smoke
Don’t Turn Your Light Out On Me
Never Learn
Same Old Me (Brand New You)
Last One To Die
By The Cold Light Of Night
Better Days
Another Night
This Ones For…


Words by Jon.

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