reviewed by Michael Thomas
We’ve all had those kinds of relationships, be it friendly or romantic, where we invest ourselves fully. Things seem great for a while, but eventually that bond wears thin. And honestly, the best musical outlet for that kind of rage is some sweet, sweet pop-punk. Enter Pretty Matty.
This project of Montreal’s Matthew Morand has all the hallmarks of pop-punk credentials; a searingly sarcastic name, a sneering vocal tone and influences like the Breeders and Green Day. For his first EP he teamed up with the excellent Tasy Hudson (Consilience) and Tanisha Arthur (Truster) and the three of them shred to hell.
The songs are quick and to the pop-punk point; “Only For You” wastes zero time getting going, and it’s the only song where there’s some hint of optimism that a relationship is going to work. Starting with the clever line “Left to be your right hand man,” we hear from a guy who’s ready to do whatever he needs to do for his partner. But alas, it is not meant to be.
In “Right Through,” we hear a bit of low-volume guitar before the song gets louder, and it seems like a thematic continuation of the previous song—the guy was willing to do anything for the other person, but the other person doesn’t seem to want to do the same. You can feel the rage as Morand sings “You’re looking right through me.”
“Show Me” shows even more disdain for the other person, with Morand first saying “I want you to tell me where to go and who to be.” But eventually he concludes “You’re not changing, so why should I?” The finale, “Oh Well,” is a shrug set to powerpop music—there’s no expectation of change from anyone, so…oh well. In true pop-punk fashion, the last line, “Can you hear me out?” is followed by a complete cutoff of sound. No closure! Just like life.
Top Track: “Only For You”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)