At this point, the title of "Man, Myth, Legend" can be deservedly ascribed to Matthew Melton. If he'd like to rip off Search and Destroy on 'Images On The Sand', listeners won't complain 'cause he's paid his damn dues.
The cover of 'Outside Paradise' might say it all, but if the words "myth" or "legend" aren't quite conveyed by it, I'm lost. The cover of his first solo outing, 2010's 'Still Misunderstood' found him in a concrete jungle setting, near a beat up car that may or may not be his, without a belt. Now we see him in what could be just any green hillside or Middle Earth, with a belt and now a bat in-hand. Of course, just like other punk legends, Iggy Pop and Eugene Hutz, (the latter to whom he bears a striking resemblance) he has no need for a shirt. That bat is very curious; either he's looking for a mystical sandlot somewhere or he's zombie hunting. In any case, he's sure to produce some hits and those hits my sail outside Paradise.
He surely made this album outside Paradise. According to a recent interview, he was a vagrant for most of the seven years in which this was compiled, living in his then Oakland-based studio. I guess if I lived a vagrant life, I wouldn't want to wear a shirt either. But he also lets us know he means business 'cause his pants are always very rock-star-form-fitting. Here's hoping Matthew Melton never associates with Paradise.
The Verdict: 4 Bedpans
Haley Bonar's 'Last War' is the album that Frankie Rose should've made this year. It's not quite as bombastic as Rose's style. Bonar likes to keep the propulsive rhythms more subdued, but the synthscapes she creates here are just as expansive as anything on Rose's 'Interstellar'.
'From A Cage', 'Woke Up in My Future' and 'Bad Reputation' are a meaty, satisfying trifecta of Americana delivered via nothing that sounds the least bit rootsy. 'Eat for Free' is the only sparsely acoustic track, a haunting, heartbreaking and well-sequenced closer.
The Verdict: 3 Bedpans
Earlier this year The Hussy and Digital Leather released a Split 12". As these types of collaborations go, not only did they share wax, they also shared song duties. I'm gonna guess that TIT was the genesis and not the result of said 12". I feel like the last track on this EP, '8m 50s', an eight-minute, fifty-second drone-out set all this madness into motion.
I don't really hear Bobby Hussy's influence in TIT. It mostly sounds like a druggier version of Shawn Foree's normal output. So, okay, Bobby wanted to turn some knobs and just use his guitar chops as an accent for a change; nothing wrong with that. I wonder if TIT will next release four more songs that basically sound like The Hussy on quaaludes with heavy synthery in the mix.
The Verdict: 3 Bedpans