Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Album Review: Matthew Logan Vasquez- Solicitor Returns

Matthew Logan Vasquez
Solicitor Returns
*** out of *****
The first solo album from Matthew Logan Vasquez lets him cut loose and turn up some fuzz guitar while still working in his pop rock vein; rather then going introverted and solo he gets his friends and buys new pedals for his ax.

With his main outfit Delta Spirit on hiatus, Vasquez works up a strut and stutter that dips into Neil Young Crazy Horse-ville as well as visits to Meat Puppet land and beyond. The freedom can be a bit scattered but you get the sense that Vasquez has a wide range of musical loves and can not wait to express them all.

Opening with a title track that is simply building hum (and closing with almost the same thing in larger more dramatic fashion) the album is short but still travels wide vistas. "Maria" is a good encapsulation of it all with acoustic guitars holding down the chords while fuzz electric noise skirts the edges. Pretty vocals mix with mid range lyrics that contain spiritual and western flairs.

"Personal" is dance ready and would have fit perfectly into Delta Spirits sets while "I Bet It All" strips things down to focus on the vocals which are in fine form; Vasquez can move you from enraged to weeping from stanza to stanza. "Black East River" is a country ballad with electric accents while "Stand Up" feels like the same thing but substitutes piano work for country folk while unfortunately feeling drawn out and too thin at four and a half minutes.

A real snarling workout is the punk "Everything I Do" which wails with intensity on the six strings and delivery. His kiss off to the best city in the world sounds weary on "New York", honest but not much more and it again runs long at five and half minutes, even with the great fuzz tone on guitar.

While there isn't a standout must hear musical moment MLV has none the less produced a record worth checking out even if you were unaware of his previous bands. Solicitor Returns bodes well for any more solo ventures he delivers.
We've had a few records sitting around we never got around to reviewing so expect a few more before the year is out like CEG and MLV. Support the artist, buy the album, peeps some video below:

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