The Equal Ground
Working on your sophomore album can be difficult. For a lot of bands that rush through it, there isn’t the same passion as the first record and it can inevitably be called the sophomore slump. Luckily for the band Matheson, instead of rushing they have been taking their time on their self-produced album called The Word is On The Wire. The results are a very professional sounding record that has an eclectic mix of good if not great songs that are full of emotion. Matheson has some of the live energy you feel with a band like Arcade Fire. It’s this forward momentum that feels like it’s progressing and just building upon more and more momentum. They also have some tunes that are more laid back and rely on the singer’s commanding voice and minimal instrumentation. It’s a good mix of songs that lead you through a gamut of emotions that is very rewarding in the end.
The album opens with one of the highlights on the album “Ghosts.” This is one of those songs that you can tell after the first thirty seconds is going to be good. The blazing guitars, the kinetic drums and the singer’s triumphant voice come together creating a tornado of sounds that is steady and looking towards the future. At the beginning of “Sailors Son” it takes down the energy a couple of notches trading it in for harmony and a melancholy. A little after the two- minute mark the band rocks the hell out. The drums are frantic, the lead guitar is thrashing and the bass is keeping the energy balanced.
There are some indie rock ballads on the album not unlike those that you might hear from a group like Band of Horses. Songs like “Golden Ring” and “We’ve Lost It All” are visceral experiences that could be a tear inducing experience.f you enjoy well-produced unpretentious indie rock that delivers on multiple levels I would suggest giving The Word is On The Wire a listen. Eleven songs strong make it an album worth picking up.
– Ted Rogen