Matt Byron – Next Time I’ll Know – EP Review
The opening track of Matt Byron’s new EP Next Time I’ll Know, “Sleep & Dream Of Monsters,” reminded me instantly of the hearing the debut album from Orgy…somewhat of the lo-fi Nine Inch Nails as well opening into Pretty Hate Machine back in the day. One might even throw out the name Depeche Mode as this synth-led beat drives on forward. Byron sings with that montone-vibe that made the post-punk scene famous along with guitars that also echo the time where art-rock like The Cure had a more solid grip on the world. I dig this dark rhythm & pulse…”Sleep & Dream Of Monsters” sounds like a song hell-bent on hunting you down.
What I really appreciated was that Byron switched up the sound immediately. Not that I didn’t like “Sleep & Dream Of Monsters” – actually quite the contrary…it’s as much my style as “Tylenol & Gasoline” is but I definitely like that within four songs this artist is already displaying a tremendous amount of diversity and sounds on the Next Time I’ll Know EP. This up-tempo, electro-induced tune has perfectly placed bouncy synth-bass and a massive chorus of Byron’s voice creating the thick & rich vocal sounds. In a sense, it’s a massive departure from the opening tune…but in a lot of ways not…something about Byron’s approach gives even these two supremely different tunes a level of comfort & cohesion.
The shining moment for me came in the form of “Back To The Bottom” and its genius combination of beat, melody and performance. This is one hell of an inventive song that really hits the sweet-spot in between the sounds of the first two songs. Excellent synth in this track; mixed perfectly…this whole song pulses with uniqueness that is truly inspiring. A lot of Byron’s work really does remind me of the early stages of Trent Reznor’s journey, albeit more melodic and less cutthroat. “Back To The Bottom” is full of incredible ideas comprised into one epic journey of a song that takes you into a real atmosphere with a ton of sonic texture impossible not to enjoy.
Matt Byron isn’t about to let up. He’s cracked the bat 3/3 times and he’s about to kill it with a solid 4/4 on this final emotional-electro track “I Can’t Wait.” Absolutely love the modern twist on the post-punk sound meeting post-rock…the extra guitars (or maybe synth) added around the two-and-a-half minute mark are epically crunchy and just distorted to perfection. This incredible last tune comes out sounding closer to something you’d hear from Styrofoam…tough one to sing in low notes and you can hear it hits the very bottom of Byron’s register; but he pulls it off. The mix and stereophonics of it all are at their peak in this final song on Next Time I’ll Know and there’s a perfect match in the energy of music, lyrics, performance and execution to “I Can’t Wait” that truly makes it the impactful ending worthy of this EP.
If you were to ask me…I’d say Matt found himself a wicked set of songs here on Next Time I’ll Know. I’d say that there were four excellent songs absolutely worth your time to listen to; I’d say that there are exciting, melodic hooks of all-kinds and synthetic-excellence that drips from the EP…
…and I’d say all these things, because they’re true.
Very excited to hear more from Matt Byron in the future…he’s got a fantastic blend of sound here that really manages to captivate and communicate genuine emotion and intense moods. Definitely songs that my personal earholes certainly enjoyed absorbing & consuming entirely…and for those of you that like a real mood-shift between songs that’s smooth and flows naturally…you’ll love Next Time I’ll Know.
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