The tagline for this album reads “meaningful music for struggling people”, and I doubt I could summarize Hello Industry’s Matter any more thoroughly than that. High and low, fast and slow, soothing and understanding, Matter covers a wide span of topics and emotions that we all face in everyday life, aptly creating music to fit the tone and tell each story.
“When The Going’s Bad,” with its upbeat guitars and energetic drumming, sounds very much like the kind of song you should listen to when down in the dumps. It offers words of encouragement, though the vocals get a tad bit drowned out in the raucous chorus. The bridge, easier to hear and very soothing, further reinforces the overall motivational theme of this song.
“Easy” leans more toward the alternative range, with the deep bass really pushing things forward. Catchy and full of compliments, this is the perfect song for anyone running a bit low on self-esteem.
“Blind” alternates between a swirling world of alternate reality, gritty rock and a sweet melody to create a thoroughly immersive song. Again, there are places where I wish I could hear the vocals a bit more, but I am also content allowing the energy simply flow into my eardrums.
I was expecting a more hip-hop themed song when I heard the first bars of “Stop The Rain (B-Sides)” – but was beyond pleased when it suddenly crashed into this deliciously dark song, helped along by the heavy, heavy bassline and the drums that drip with attitude. Even the vocalist’s voice is much edgier, encompassing an almost nu-metal vibe. I suspect I’ll be humming this later on.
“When I Was Young” is the polar opposite of the preceding song; higher toned guitars take front stage again as this song assumes a more nostalgic feel, which is greatly enhanced by the twangy, almost bluesy touch.
“So Much For Love” is a very sorrowful, sad song, with melancholic piano chords laying the path for each loaded note. The accompanying guitar adds a bit of sway, with some assistance from what sound like subtle violins in the background. The wailing solo just puts the cherry on top and is likely to grab your heartstrings, much as it seized mine.
“Brave” begins to sound like the end of the journey, with spacey sounds ushering a quietly jamming verse. The irregular drumbeats in the background inspire impromptu interpretive dancing on the spot, along with sporadic head banging for the lively chorus. The dual vocals sound fantastic here, as they harmonize incredibly well.
When the album finished and I was once again shrouded in silence, I found myself left with an unexpected lump in my throat – the music touched a nerve with me at many points in the album, and by the end it all seemed to come around. I loved how the artists truly speak to the listener, as though they are having a conversation with you; even the instruments are engaging and each tells its own story parallel to the words being sung. This was a good deal heavier than I expected, both sonically and emotionally, and I genuinely appreciated the experience. Matters is a great listen for anyone, but especially for those who like to truly engage with the music they’re listening to.
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