Menu | Rating System | Guest Book | Archived Reviews:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

  The Mattoid  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:

The Mattoid is a crazy Finnish guy living in Nashville, and he makes a sort of wacky pop music. He is known for fusing many different types of music, from folky rock, to surf pop, to, well "throat singing", which is that disturbing, gravelly, back of the throat stuff that metal bands do. Apparently it's traditional is his culture. Strange, but to me it still sounds painful.

Anyway, Eterninfinity is his second release, and it is an EP consisting of two songs that are outtakes from his debut album, Hello, and four brand new tunes.

The EP starts off with Happiness, which is an outtake. This is a nice catchy tune with subdued guitar and drumming. At the end he does some of that throat singing stuff, just so you don't get too comfortable. Still, it's a darned catchy tune.

However, the next song is even better. It's called Crazy Muthas, and it almost sounds like some old school rhythm and blues in the sense that it's catchy and you just want to dance and bounce along to it. The rhythm which dominates the instrumentation behind his voice is great, and there are little horn noises popping in and out. The song builds nicely to a call and response chorus with the other band members echoing the last word of The Mattoid's vocal, i.e., "I feel wonderful (Wonderful!)". Oh, and there are happy little 1980s new wave keyboards in the background, and occasional guitar hits that are fuzzed out like they wandered in from a My Bloody Valentine song.... It's a strange collection of sounds when you list them out like that, but they all really work well together. This is a damned fine song.

The next track is Little Surfer. It starts as a kind of happy song with new wave guitar work. Then it gets ominous, with The Mattoid doing the throat thing and the rhythm just building.... The backing vocal bits are rather nice, and, in general, this song gets loud and ominous.

The next track is the second outtake on the EP, and i think i know why it was left off the debut album. It's called Tinkli Vinkli and is a song about a sea cucumber that dreams it's a gorilla who wants to fly. I think. It definitely tells some type of story, but it's not always so easy to follow, as it's all just preposterous. It's a really weird song, but the instrumentation is very nice. The guitar does a strange, almost grating, type of riff, and the bass here is simply wonderful. The bass is a low rumble, fast and frenetic, moving inexorably forward. It's probably the best bass riff on the EP, which saves this song from just being a head scratching exercise in weirdness and makes it something worth listening to.

The next tune is slightly more "normal". It's called Blow and features a happy little melody, fun backing vocals, and some ecstatic horns. But then, in the middle of the song, The Mattoid goes into the throat singing thing, and suddenly the tune sounds extra eerie. Still it works, and i find that i like the contrast between the horns and the deep evil singing.

The Mattoid started off the EP with Joy and now he ends it with Happiness. I am not sure if the four songs in between are supposed to represent other shades of positive emotion or not, but if so i must seriously wonder how the fever-dream of Tinkli Vinkli translates into a positive emotion. Oh well, maybe the naming is just a coincidence and not indicative of an attempt to make this a concept EP. At any rate, the song Happiness is, well, a silly happy song, with The Mattoid singing "happy happy happy". It's not the best tune on the EP, but it's not bad either.

Overall, well, all i gotta say is "wow". Really. The Mattoid makes wonderfully quirky pop music that is rather exciting. You should definitely give this guy a chance. He's doing something different, and he manages to do so, keep it all interesting, and never lose site of making catchy tunes. Good work.

Related Links:

Hello, the debut album by The Mattoid.
The Mattoid in concert around the time of release of this EP.


Return to the top of this page. | Return to the Album Review menu.