New York based outfit, Joe Matzzie represents a unique incorporation of jazzy folk and rhythm into honest, melodic rock/pop. This Box Makes Noise is a musical journey that holds a diverse group of songs that showcase not only his songwriting prowess, but also an undeniable love for rock n’ roll. This album is a good mix of 10 tracks each with their own brand of rock, folk and pop under a singer/songwriter point of view a la Lou Reed. Lyrically sound and musically loose with a little bit of flare, it’s really an interesting combination. We have good rock with an alternative edge, definitely a crossover vibe going on here. This Box Makes Noise has a sound and melody that takes the listener right into the heart of the American dream, the challenge of survival, and the relationships we all encounter.
“My Imperfect Girl” reminds me a bit of Sting and Paul Simon rolled into one. On previous recordings this song had a more ska-like quality, but the horns have been removed on this project and that’s ok with me. The integrity is still there and the band makes it all look easy.
“Dies Irae” starts bringing in an ethnic quality and that’s about as far as it goes. It’s quite the diversion from the previous tracks and has a very nice authenticity to it. The Italians themselves would be up and dancing to this one. “Run To The Beach” is sunny and singsong while “Would You Be My Valentine” is like the token ballad from an emo group. You never know what’s next with Joe Matzzie, but chances are it’s a good time.
The alternative volume knob is cranked on “Guilty of Possession.” It’s like the Smashing Pumpkins and Alice in Chains with Matzzie at the mic. This one takes some getting used to and at that rate the whole album really deserves a few listens. With Matzzie it’s not about easy digestion, but long lasting nutrition from exposure. A simple two cents from me would go like this – bring it home at the end. The tracks started to wilt a little as the album aged. I wanted some stronger melodies and fuller instrumentation that exuded earlier. Other than that, it’s another home run from Mr. Matzzie. Set up your lawn chair, find some shade, and set this on repeat.
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