Matty T. Wall
Perth native Matty T. Wall’s debut cut begins with the revving of an old car engine, a deep and throaty sound that heralds what’s to come – a high-octane fast run through a set of, for the most part, foot to the floor heard and heavy blues grooves. Music from the past set to a modern beat, a musician very aware of where this music came from, yet also aware of where it can possibly go.
Wall and drummer Jasper Miller grew up listening to heavy metal (Metallica a common influence), and it comes through in the weight of these blues – this isn’t folky, it ain’t front porch jammin’, no sir, it’s a straight on down the road thundering and multi-jointed beast that thrashes and rumbles along, a half smile on its face the whole time, no quarter asked, none given.
Miller and bassist Stephen Walker also grew up learning jazz, and while this doesn’t permeate Blue Skies as heavily as the metal influence does, it stands as one of more than a few roots genres that Wall and band pull in – soul, R&B, early rock ‘n’ roll, the blues of course, in what is a very well-rounded debut cut from a man who not only knows his way around the guitar, but whose voice is also strong and assured (‘Love Gone Away’ a fine example), his songwriting solid (room for improvement, of course).
‘Burnin’ Up Burnin’ Down’ and ‘Am I Wrong’, starting the record, are your fast and furious blues; ‘Scorcher’ brings to mind Stevie Ray Vaughn; Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Chile’ is breathed new life; ‘Broken Heart Tattoo’ shimmers and writhes; while Robert Johnson’s ‘Hellhound On My Trail’, to close the album out, stands as a solid tribute to one of Wall’s heroes, new life breathed again. In between the bluster and blow are tracks like ‘Love Gone Away’, the title track and ‘Smile’, all of which showcase the fact Wall isn’t just about the hard and fast. A rock solid debut from a new name in Australian blues.
Samuel J. Fell