I stopped going on solitary bike rides a long fucking time ago, it’s not that I’m no longer a loser, considering what I’m doing with my free time, part of which is what you’re currently reading, but I’m not the kind of person who aimlessly zig-zags in the middle of an empty road as Matt Pond PA hypnotizes me from my iPod into not noticing that Escalade that’s about to crush me. That said, I can’t entirely relate to this band. Matt Pond isn’t so much dated as it sounds like something that would have raised my eyebrows in high school—that being 1998-2002 if you need to picture the era.
Last Light bugles from inward to the surface with tender adolescent sweetness and lackluster poetry that, surprise, surprise, is also of the adolescent tinge. And from my detractors will come a tidal wave of bitching and moaning to their friends, roommates and drunk hook-ups about how I’m such a miserable cocksucker and I should jump headfirst onto oncoming traffic instead of wasting my time bashing what they may call “the most awesome, sincere and emotional band in the history of sound.” And they’d be right, I’ve come to terms long ago that I am a total prick who has shitloads of fun vandalizing parking meters, shooting guns and making people generally unhappy. I’m kind of like Steve Albini, if he were a pussy with less talent. But Matt Pond PA still isn’t all that great.
My biggest grievance is what seems to be their confusion. They’re caught midstream between soft radio rock and post-post Sunny Day Real Estate emo-whatever. Vocals are sensitive and introspective, there are tender pianos, vulnerable, jangling guitars and a competent rhythm section that is more than prepared to keep the formula steady and founded. Lyrical themes bare sparks and flashes of melodrama. The frontman has a narrative style of singing that packs all the words into the melodies.
Part of me wants to spare Matt Pond PA, however. This makes sense. All in all, the music isn’t terribly arranged. Much of what I dislike about the band is due to subjective personal preference, but than again, all my reviews as well as those of others are pretty much that. But the band recalls, to me, a time and a feeling that isn’t much there, if it ever was in the first place. Matt Pond PA is about filling space that will constitute memories, mostly good ones. If you don’t like my summation, however, I gladly invite you to email me your mailing address and in turn I will reply with an envelope containing a severed finger and a Xerox copy of my weapons permit.