Monday, February 03, 2014

Matt Boroff-Sweet Hand Of Fate


Matt Boroff, an American-born, Austria-based artist whose musically career started out in the Nineties, has had a long career during which time he's played with the likes of Nirvana, Bad Brains, Queens of the Stone Age, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Calexico. On "Sweet Hand Of Fate", the follow-up to his 2012, four-track EP, "Filling in the Cracks", he set out to create a record that had "the flavor, the tone, the mood of some of the films that I've found inspiring, like the work of David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, Federico Fellini and many more". Further more he goes on to state "I basically wanted to craft an album  I didn't necessarily want to create a film soundtrack, but rather songs that could become films in your mind's eye". All of that goes a far way towards describing the mood of an album like "Sweet Hand Of Fate". For the most part Matt ends up performing the bulk of the instrumentation on this sublime album and from opener "Lost" (a slow, lumbering classic rock-infused number that merges Zeppelin with Neil Young all while keenly piling on the distortion) onward his talent continues to astound you! For a songwriter/musician who began his career playing experimental noise-rock you'd never know it by cuts like "My Black Heart" and "Here In Limbo". The former teeters on psychedelic rock while the latter makes good use of classic rock and roll and hard rock riffs. And those are merely the first few tracks of "Sweet Hands Of Fate". That said, the reference to hard rock riffs and a post-metallic backdrop, this one is far from being a heavy metal platter and those expecting as much would most likely be let down. Instead this is darkly-tinted rock with an almost autobiographically-spin to it. There are plenty of twists and turns to be had across the grooves of this record as Matt Boroff, in a way in which the deck is both stacked and stripped to it's bare minimum requirement, plays from his heart while conspiring with his misery! A release like "Sweet Hand Of Fate" is a testament to what can be accomplished when one man cuts open his (philosophical) heart and spills the contents out into the open for all too see. While his last release was viewed as a "mini-album that connected the dots between the musical imagery of Elevator Ride and the atmospherics of Reaching for Sparks" this full-length album is a touch harder to define given that kind of open honestly and everything that went into the recording process. With moments of Zeppelin and Young and the incredible variety of misc. influences that seem to have found there way into the mix of "Sweet Hand Of Fate" (I picked up on everything from Iron Butterfly to Nick Cave to Screaming Trees to Morrissey as well as artists/acts like The The, John Fogerty, The Cult, David Bowie,  and The Cramps!) this album, while dark and drenched is both physical and philosophical distortion, was an absolute joy of a listening experience. Even with the expansive (and frankly odd) influences that come into play on "Sweet Hand Of Fate" this is a special, one of a kind, album that sounds unlike anything I've heard it a very long time!

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