Matt Pearce and the Mutiny has Gotta get Home

Do not despair if, like me, you are a fan of Voodoo Six…I believe that this ‘side project’ by their revered guitarist Matt Pearce is just that; the V6 boys are apparently about to record a new album too. If it is anywhere near as good as their First Hit For Free album, my money is ready. This review, however, is about that project: Matt Pearce and the Mutiny is the name he has given it because, in his own words, “I felt disobedient… I felt defiant… And I felt like I had to mutiny…” following the end of a relationship. With a strong band behind him, he has moved more towards heavy, funky blues with a dollop of southern rock and written all of the songs to produce the excellent Gotta Get Home.

If you don’t know Matt, then a potted history…Glasgow born, he started playing at thirteen and learning all of the rock songs of the day but always had the awareness of funk and soul…he cites Stevie Wonder and Superstitious as having a big impact.

The new release has echoes of his day job, but also brings hints of The Stones, Prince, Aerosmith and Rory Gallagher across the nine songs. Opener, Scarecrowing, would scare the crow out of John Pertwee (one for the slightly older reader there!) as it bursts into an SRV like track with southern funk abounding. It grabs you immediately: from the Wonder like keys through the great rhythm section to the wah’d guitar that sings…beautifully. The vocal even has a hint of SRV too, and the whole thing is brilliant. Ordinary Blues is next and it isn’t ordinary in any way: the funk is there again but funk played by the best blues jam band you can imagine. The riff on this is an infectious, heavy blues built on multi-tracked guitars and keys in harmony and harmony is to the fore in the choruses as the delightful Ms Lang adds perfect vocals to lift the words to another level. The extended bridge brings slide guitar into play and heralds a picked solo of real quality and variation; he does it again as we reach the end, but wah brings a fresh tone and emotion to close it out. Like A Hammer brings the SRV references in again but they are just references. Matt has the ability to sound like, but remain very original and innovative. In fact, think SRV guesting with Govt Mule and you are getting close to the excellence on display by the whole band…the bass line and drums are great behind the keys and guitar in harmony. Some People is a little darker in mood but still packed with blues clues…when it starts, you will think Bonamassa has a new song out. The sparse, phased riff is so clever that you can miss it unless you listen properly as the complex keys wash across the verses. The guitar solo is another example of using all of the strings and all of the frets and picking the right notes in the right quantity…Matt is, mercifully, no widdler. And don’t be tempted to miss the extended fade; the keys and guitar create almost a different song. Dig Deeper is back to heavy funk but with a great blues-rock riff underpinning it all. There are even some Glenn Hughes inflections across the whole composition…even in the vocals. The start/stop section in the middle with wah’d guitar over it is superb. Set Me Free is a classic in waiting…there are hints of latter day Free, Green era Mac as well as some Rory, particularly in the first solo. In other words it is sublime blues that very few can create these days. Title track, Gotta Get Home, takes Mick Taylor, puts him in the Crowes and wraps it up with gospel tints that, with Acantha adding yet more emotion, adds up to electric delta blues…in every sense. The slide is magnificent in its fluidity and clarity with careful use of the range and picked singly when it suits the feel. Worried puts a touch of country into the blues as the picked intro and bass are fresh from the back porch. It all builds beautifully into the sort of song that has a simplistic approach but a depth that Captain Nemo would have a problem exploring…it is stunning. Who Do You Think You Are wraps it up in a blues-rock style with a riff and backing that grabs the attention from the funky bass/drum intro through the slide backing to the picked solo and beyond.

If this album had been released by one of the ‘established’ blues giants, it would be lauded to the skies…and so it should be. Matt has stepped sideways from the heavy rock of V6 and produced a high-quality blues album that any blues lover will admire. The band behind him is superb throughout and the vocal nuances that Acantha brings are wonderful. The production is first class too so that you can, over numerous listens, pick out the bass/keys/drum flourishes that abound. If you like electric blues you will love this; if you like true blues with a modern edge, you will love this…let’s just say, you will love this!

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Tracklisting:

  1. Scarecrowing
  2. Ordinary Blues
  3. Like A Hammer
  4. Some People
  5. Dig Deeper
  6. Set Me Free
  7. Gotta Get Home
  8. Worried
  9. Who Do You Think You Are?
    1. Musicians:

      Matt Pearce: guitar, vocals

      Joe Lazarus: drums

      Jon Moody: keyboards

      Kez Gunes: bass

      Acantha Lang: vocals

      Produced by

      Matt Pearce
      Matt Pearce and the Mutiny has Gotta get Home

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