Al Matcott – You Can Be anyone EP Review

Skip Hero Records – 2021

Al Matcott, one of Australia’s rising blues-grunge artists has emerged with his debut EP You Can Be Anyone, a collection of sentiments and stories form Matcott’s world that encompass elements of Americana, blues rock and folk. Formally a drummer and guitarist/ singer in a number of bands in the Australian DIY scene, Matcott has honed in his songwriting narrative to offer up the first slice of what he’s all about.

The most immediate thing you realise upon listening to this EP is that this is only a flavour of what Matcott is capable of, but you’re given a big enough portion to be able to digest Matcott’s shining personality and love of guitar. Jerking into action with opener “The Truthseeker” Matcott displays his form of songwriting in glorious form. With its stop start motion drive it feels as though Matcott is clicking in the gears, about to set the full bluesy drive into full motion. Recorded in his mothers house in Castlemaine, Victoria you can hear the rawness of Matcott’s sound in every aspect, from the slap-back vocals to the crusty guitars. It sounds almost live, and the immediate energy of Matcott’s performance is present in every moment. With the track gradually climaxing into a frenzy of melodies and blues riffs Matcott feels like he’s in full bloom, every aspect that the song has been leading up to resonating loud.

Both “The Truthseeker” and “Mediocre” stretching over the 5 and a half minute mark and beyond and it becomes apparent that Matcott would rather feed in slow elements of his sound when and if needed. Like a well-grafted novel, he’s in no rush to deliver it’s final climactic showdown, rather they have to be earned. On the latter there’s a subtle layer of disdain wrapped all over the track, from it’s shifting tonal balance at almost every turn as Matcott asks “You could be anyone / Why would you choose to be / Such a mediocre person”. Whether it’s a battle of self belief or questioning of another, Matcotts clever lyricism and storytelling finesse shines through above the rest.

The more poignant second half of the EP has Matcott evoking the likes of indie-blues/ folk powerhouse Kurt Vile on “Justine”.  His vocal style may resemble that of Vile’s B’lieve I’m Going Down days, but there’s also something more to Matcott’s sound that you can’t escape from. It’s as though he’s telling you a tale round a campfire, backed by a swathe of grunge filled and almost euphoric instrumentation. Pounding beat and rolling riffs aplenty, this track is sure to appear on any American-outlaw TV show soundtrack. And on “Friends Of Us All” Matcott brings out his inner Springsteen, as he crushes lead melodies one after another and details the turmoil of a friend in need.

What this EP details about Matcott is indeed that he can be anyone. Whether he’s playing the role of the outlaw or the loveable rogue, he captures the spirit of Americana-blues and indie rock at its core.

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Al Matcott shares new single “Justine”

Photo by Rick Clifford

Australian songwriter Al Matcott has shared new single “Justine“. The track follows his recent debut single “Mediocre” and is taken from his upcoming EP You Can Be Anyone, out August 6th via Al’s own imprint Skip Hero Records.

There’s an odd captivation to Matcott’s sound, bordering on the fine line of effortlessly cool and becoming a full blown rager. His vocal style may resemble that of Kurt Vile’s B’lieve I’m Going Down days, but there’s something else to Matcott’s sound that you can’t escape from. It’s as though he’s telling you a tale round a campfire, backed by a swathe of grunge filled and almost euphoric instrumentation.

Speaking about the single Matcott says,

“Justine’s about the titular character from the Marquis de Sade’s novel. I finished reading it when I was feeling burnt out on tour in Adelaide. The whole book is her being mistreated by the world and (spoiler alert) it doesn’t end well. I imagined a different ending where she unleashed righteous vengeance on the world. It felt pretty metal.  

Listen to the new single below!

The War On Drugs announce new album ‘I Don’t Live Here Anymore’

Photo by Shawn Brackbill

The War On Drugs have announced I Don’t Live Here Anymore, their first studio album in four years, out October 29th on Atlantic Records. Pre-order here. This follows on from A Deeper Understanding, released back in 2017.

A note announcing the album on the band’s official website calls it an “uncommon rock album about one of our most common but daunting processes—resilience in the face of despair”.

The band have shared lead single “Living Proof”, the albums opening track along with an accompanying music video directed by filmmaker Emmett Malloy. Watch below!

The band have also announced a tour of the UK in April 2022 for a handful of dates including a performance at London’s O2 Arena and the First Direct Arena in Leeds. Tickets are on sale here on Friday, July 23rd at 10am local time. Upcoming UK and Ireland live info below:

Monday 11th April 2022 – Birmingham – O2 Academy

Tuesday 12th April 2022 – London – O2 Arena

Thursday 14th April 2022 – Dublin – 3 Arena

Saturday 16th April 2022 – Leeds – First Direct Arena

Monday 18th April 2022 – Edinburgh – Corn Exchange

Tracklist:

1. Living Proof 

 2. Harmonia’s Dream 

 3. Change 

 4. I Don’t Wanna Wait 

 5. Victim 

 6. I Don’t Live Here Anymore 

 7. Old Skin 

 8. Wasted 

 9. Rings Around My Father’s Eyes 

10. Occasional Rain