Hear The Track Here
One of the absolute joys of the often thankless task of reviewing is that - every once in a while - musical providence throws this particular starving critical dog a nice juicy bone. In this case juicy, meaty and all the other saliva inducing words we can conjure up. For sure, I find as I get further and further down the line as a reviewer, it is becoming harder and harder to knock me on my ass and it takes a really, really strong project to make me sit and beg and Mathien are such a project. Put it like this, I was sufficiently intrigued by the compositional splendour of The Night I Was...etc that I went exploring the video side of the band and THIS knocked me on my ass. Watch We Don't Need to Make Love to Know That We've Got it and Broomsticks & Cereal Bowls to see what got me so hot under the collar.
Mathien are a band from Chicago and that cities extensive musical heritage informs every note of their musical and it's that, to my mind, that really singles them out from the hundreds of wannabes. While you might have heard something like The Night I Was...you will certainly notice their extremely sharp, knowledgeable style, the depth and quality of the music and arrangement, and the sheer lyrical brilliance on display. As much as I liked both that track and You'll Never Learn, it was really only part of the story - at least as far as I am concerned. From a professional songwriting/producing point of view both music tracks are just as good as it gets, but don't show how nuanced a band they can be - for that, you need to see the videos.
There was no doubt in my mind that Mathien had an awesome singer (actually several) but the videos show precisely how good he is. Shifting effortlessly through rock and jazz phasing, this guy doesn't miss a vocal beat and it gets pretty hectic musically on all their tricks. It's the bands superbly judged vocals and the sheer goodtime vibe coming off all their music that sold me and - truth to tell - I'd be hard pressed to say that I liked any track more than another but, when forced to the wall, I have to say that the video tracks definitely have the edge; musically and technically perfect in every way and great fun into the bargain.
MUST HAVE (a good time!!)