Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Review: Mattiel 'Satis Factory' LP

In a time of mass homages to the past, especially with the immensely popular New Classic Soul movement (with solid work by artists like Curtis Harding, Leon Bridges, and Kelly Finnigan), it is no surprise that  we are seeing other genres from the time period emulated. Atlanta's Mattiel (led by Mattiel Brown) is soaked in 1960s Jangle Pop, especially their Self Titled LP on Burger Records from a couple years back.   Borrowing cues from pop greats such as Nancy Sinatra and The Monkees, as well as French Yé-yé Pop sensations like France Gall and Françoise Hardy, Mattiel's forthcoming Satis Factory is even more poppy and energetic, as represented on track Je Ne Me Connais Pas. The band clearly have had a couple years to get comfortable in the Jingle Jangle Pop shoes they first tried on in 2017 and have hit a good stride.


 Satis Factory hits the full stride toward the middle of the album fully embracing that California Sunshine pop. Track 6 of the solid 12 song album, Millionaire, borrows from Velvet Underground (as well as Nico,  complete with Nico's half yodel key drop vocals). Track 7, Populonia, is taken straight from Neil Diamond's I'm A Believer.

 Slightly more modern influences can also be heard, such as the CULTS-esque  Keep The Change, and the hooky Delta 72 solos on Berlin Weekend. The mixture of sun shiny 60s pop with revisited late 70s Heartland rock works well for Mattiel, possibly even better than the more straight forward lifts like Millionaire. But even those are worth spinning.

In an age of extreme revisiting and repackaging of past genres, is an album pieced together and noticeably (as well as shamelessly) borrowed from artists of the past really a bad thing?  In this case probably not as Satis Factory certainly is.

Mattiel Brown

Satis Factory will be available on June 14th from ATO Records.

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