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The Peak FM Presents... The Matinee w/ Special Guests: Good for Grapes + Gastown Royals
Shootout the lights, and stone the roses—there’s some strong autobiography going onbetween the lines of The Matinée’s debut full-length album, We Swore We’d Seethe Sunrise. Taking its title from a line in “L’Absinthe”— the true story of anight of madness and delirium experienced while on tour in Quebec told betweenbouts of sparkling down-country guitar work from Matt Rose—what we hear is aband whose five members have known each other since high school, throwingeverything they have into a record they’re treating like a milestone.
Andthe work was hard. Emboldened by their third place win in the 2011 PeakPerformance Project and the subsequent record deal that followed, The Matinéeducked in and out of different studios, experimented, and generallystrove—because they could— to be as great as possible for the year or so theyspent working on this much-anticipated release.
Itall started to gel with Steve Berlin. With REM and The Tragically Hip in hispast, it was no surprise when the veteran producer turned out to be astrikingly good fit for the band. His native feel for Americana with a nice fatbackbeat—supplied in spades by bassist Mike Young— is right there in thesouthern rock redux of “Sweetwater” and “Let Her Go”, which recall countlessroots-rockers from Ryan Adams to The Sadies.
ButBerlin and band were both eager to colour outside the lines. The starlit“December Slumber” is like a widescreen sonic painting with pedal steel guitar,while “The Road” is a stadium built anthem that plows the middle ground betweenrural festivals and the urban hipster ground-zero of your choice. With a liveshow generally known to be an uproar of stomping, clapping, and blazing chops,The Matinée are in the rare position of being welcome at both.
Meanwhile,“Long Way Home” throws different time signatures into its chunky country-rockframe, “Who Stoned The Roses” allows guitarist/back up vocalist Geoff Petrie tohighlight the bands attention to harmony, and “Gasoline”—a churning rockerbuilt on a cannonade of Bonham-esque heaviosity from drummer Pete Lemon—takesthe listener even further into the outer reaches.
If the seven Berlin-produced tracks find The Matinée exploring the studio andfinding new depth, the two they drummed up in lightning sessions with Hot HotHeat’s Steve Bays have an almost leavening effect. In particular, “This Town”is an impossibly bright slab of baroque pop with a middle section that couldhave been smuggled in from Abbey Road. And “Young & Lazy”, as the band wellknows—it’s the first single—is an instant classic; three-and-a-half minutes ofTom Petty-esque radio rock in the classic mold, given a light and summery touchby the band and fashioned to stick to the roof of your brain after one listen.
The Matinee / Good For Grapes / The Gastown Royals