Violent Order Out September 3 on
Berkeley Cat Records!
"If Gentle Giant and Kurt Weill had babies they would be in Matte Martin's band. But Matte composed and arranged and recorded this epic himself, mostly at home, and the results are breathtaking." - Eric Din, The Uptones
Matte Martin is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter obsessed with the dark and complex edges of rock and pop music. Matte channels the disparate influences of classical music, punk rock, the avant-garde, horror films, and the great English poets into deep, dark, dramatic rock-infused pop songs. Though there is an elegant, sophisticated, cosmopolitan quality to his productions that he picked up playing with bands in San Francisco, the dark woods of his rural northern California upbringing cast their long shadows on every song.
Matte’s third album, Violent Order, turns out to be the promised pop terminus of his connective Bridge, his sophomore album that introduces pop sheen and immediacy onto the avant-garde nightmare of his first album, Chrysalis. But where Bridge only hints at pop minimalism, Violent Order embraces it (almost) completely: from the in-your-face drums that wouldn’t be out of place on a Huey Lewis album to the lush Beach Boys-esque vocal harmonies, Matte explores the previously pitch-black caverns of his musical imagination with a newly discovered lightness.
That’s not to say that the trilogy-concluding album is Easy Listening. The off-kilter harmonies and the soul-plumbing remain, while the social, cultural, and political angst reveal themselves a little more clearly as each song’s narrator proclaims himself to be something other than what he seems (a common motif throughout Matte’s work).
Violent Order embodies Matte’s painful evolution from abrasive, expansive, surreal landscapes into concise, catchy, pop art portraits while never fully removing the dayglo-blood red, the deep, deep blacks, or the found, junk yard objects from his multimedia pallet.