Reviews

August 15, 2017

The Matinee Serves Up Double Feature and New Album

Matt Layzell the matinee scotty evil nightmair creative

It was birthday week for local Coquitlam band The Matinee, with multiple presents for fans old and new.

The celebrations started with their album release/10 year anniversary party held at The Fox Cabaret on Main Street in Vancouver. Much like the band, the venue has matured and transformed in the last decade.

And the vibe was very much like family and friends coming together to celebrate the night. Opener Emily Rowed eased everyone into things with a soulful and understated acoustic set as counterpoint to the other acts. “The Wild Romantics are gonna come on and punch you in the face after me. And then The Matinee are gonna punch you in the face TWICE. Hard!” She quipped in a self-deprecating manner.

And indeed the second act, The Wild Romantics, kicked it up several notches. Keep an eye out for these guys, they are a blast to watch live and the onstage chemistry is palpable.

I had a very brief chance to chat with Matt Layzell of The Matinee as I was purchasing the freshly-pressed vinyl copy of their latest studio album, “Dancing on Your Grave”. Like tattoos, I believe album artwork should have a great story attached.

My grandfather was a WWII era pilot, and the plane he flew was a Tiger Moth (a 1930’s era biplane). He passed away recently, so the artwork is a tiger moth,” Matt explained.

I was pretty touched he shared that with me, having never met me before. There was certainly more to say, but friends and family were demanding his attention prior to their performance. And when you listen to the title track, one certainly gets how important family is to this group.

The band delivered on stage as the fans hung on songs old and new. For those bemoaning the state of local rock and roots music, these guys are bucking that trend with solid songwriting and musicianship that clicks together down to the microsecond. But at the same time each song is delivered with passion and soul. This is a musical family that has grown with distinct personalities coming together cohesively on stage.

As if that was enough, they then opened for Vancouver rocker Bif Naked at the City of Coquitlam’s Kaleidoscope Arts Festival. An open-air show at Town Centre Park on a warm Saturday evening for families and music lovers was surely the icing on the cake.

The whole band stayed long after their set to sign albums, have pictures taken with fans and bask in their success. They certainly made a fan of me.

According to the band, the album is best enjoyed “with whiskey”. I had to settle for coffee as it was early Monday morning before I could put it on the turntable. It was the perfect sonic backdrop as I processed the photos from the weekend.

The title track hooks you from the start. The juxtaposition of the title versus the upbeat driving rhythm will make this a fan favourite.

Another track that was transformed during it’s live performance is “Show Me”. The album version is a bluesy, medium tempo…but live they’ve slowed it down and the results have made this song a hundred times better as a smokey ballad. One could easily see a huge country artist picking this one up and blowing up the charts. Guys, record the slower version! Plus this chorus is so easy to sing along with.

This is a solid album with no weak tracks. From the band website: “We wrote over 40 songs for this record,” adds Layzell. “Of the 11 that are on the record, more than half of them were written in the studio while we were doing the session. The songs were so fresh. We were learning them as we were playing them.”

Get this album. See these guys live. And look forward to the next 10 years.

“Dancing on Your Grave”
5/5
Available now on iTunes

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written by Scotty Evil /photos from Scotty Evil

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