Mattiel follow their stunning eponymous debut album with a bold and brassy second, 'Satis Factory'. The new twelve-track record is a confident and expressive affair littered with keenly observed lyrical detail and great hooks. The potential provided by the band's first album, and this year's six-track E.P. 'Customer Copy', is realised in spades throughout Mattiel's latest release.
There is almost an audible swagger to Mattiel's music; a strut and a swank that pervades their songs. It's not an arrogant thing, it's self-belief and passion that somehow transfers itself onto the record. The first single to be lifted from the album, 'Keep The Change', is a perfect case in point. The lively, unapologetically upbeat stomp is a great introduction to a great record. The bassline fizzes along as varying percussive layers propel the song forward. Mattiel Brown's wonderful quivering vocal coupled with an infectious triangle loop and some stand-out lyrical flourishes ("With eyes like a faucet, no matter how you toss it, you made it to the end of the day") make for a brilliant song.
Mattiel's self-doubting latest single, 'Je Ne Me Connais Pas', is more of a playful affair with an anthemic chorus and filled with fantastic guitar licks. This playful exploration of musical styles and fusion of ideas is where Mattiel excel. Taking inspiration from Spaghetti Westerns or showtunes, and anything in between, Mattiel make their own individual music.
Where Mattiel previously hinted at more of an experimental, nuanced sound with tracks such as 'Fives And Tens' or 'Salty Words', they have now delivered on that promise with tracks like 'Baron's Sunday Best' and the riotous romp of 'East Coast Swing' from the 'Customer Copy' E.P., but also here with 'Blisters' and 'Food For Thought'. 'Blisters', the briefest track on the album at 2m15s, is a Country flavoured blast with a fantastic Honky-Tonk piano and Brown's inimitable vocal providing show stopping highlights. The individuality and tone in Mattiel Brown's voice elevates each of her tracks and the slight quiver and rasp in her vocal delivery never fails to delight. The wryly observed 'Food For Thought' strips things back to a more percussive soundtrack with Brown's vocal completely front and centre as she recites her doctrine.
'Satis Factory' is not all Avant Garde in its approach, however. The album flits between more conventional songs and left-field gems. 'Rescue You' provides more of a scuzzy Garage vibe, 'Millionaire' a laid-back reflection, 'Populonia' a sun-soaked trip back to the late '60s and 'Athlete' a confrontational and angry track filled with a pent up energy.
The whole album is very well put together and produced and passes you by in no time at all. There are no duff tracks, no fillers, and there is never at any point a need to fast-forward. 'Satis Factory' from Mattiel is the perfect follow up to their debut album and further cements their growing reputation as one of the best bands around.
It's time for a riot grrrl revolution.
How are the world's biggest superstars changing?
Who inspired Royse?
Graham J tells all about his experience with the Jazz Journal.
An interview with Nick Wilson.