Thursday, November 14, 2019

Album Review: The Berries - Berryland

The Berries 
***and1/2 out of *****

The Berries are the brainchild of Matt Berry who does it all on his sophomore release with various friends helping out to craft a guitar based pop rock record titled Berryland.

Multi instrumentalist Berry has played in more noisy outfits (Big Bite, Happy Diving) but here his love for hooky '70's inspired radio sounds take the lead. All though the record starts off on it's darkest note as the opener "Makes Me Sick" forecasts doom and hopelessness with added flute work by Veronica Dye, but thing quickly perk up on the incredibly pretty (despite it's title) "The Lowest Form of Life" as Nicholas Merz pedal steel work combines with Berry's upbeat singing and guitar lines.

Berry recorded all of the other instruments himself and the layers of guitars he places on tracks add up, "Passing Scene" in particular has excellent acoustic work, rhythm guitar lines, a fluid bass line, smooth slide and a great jangling solo with psychedelic flourishes. It is a killer album highlight which could go on and on as the guitar lines rise and fall all over each other.

"Feral Eyes" is also a winner bringing back Merz pedal steel to add some upbeat country boogie to the album in hip shaking fashion around Berry's piumping bass and fuzzed up rocking guitar solo. On the flipside of things "Along The Water" drags with a washed out sound while a track like "D.Y.W.I.B" combines digital beats with Berry's pedal laden psychedelic 60's inspired guitar effects and while interesting the combo feels oddly paired.

Better complete efforts are the classic rock sounding "Pedestal" which finds Berry singing with menace and the self harmonizing "Fruit" which showcases what Berry does best, take mainstream influences and put his own unique stamp on them. Berryland is a confident work of art as Matt Berry melds 90's Seattle and 70's California in his unique way. 
A great random bandcamp find, support the artist, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:

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