Matt Fryers: Raw, The Live Sessions
The Manchester acoustic singer / songwriter’s latest EP is as musically and lyrically raw as the title suggests.
More often than not found sitting with an acoustic guitar on some sort of pew, heavily bearded and topped off with a shaven head if not some sort of Mohawk being cultivated, Matt Fryers can present a menacing presence.
The worn look of a ruthless road warrior belies his status in his persona as ‘Woolly’ Matt Fryers – a genuinely nice guy, a top fella’ with a refreshing lack of inhibition in bravely baring his soul. Five songs fly by in twenty minutes, that if you want to pigeonhole, might sit somewhere in the alternative acoustic country blues ballpark, where he delivers in an eyes closed, balls out performance – thankfully not literally.
The influences follow from some of the harder rocking bands who deliver the same emotion and drive backed by a large mass of watts and electricity. Matt simply relies on a guitar, a passion and a voice that delves into the depths of a soul that might not yet bear the scars of the tormented or tortured but that articulates the nature of an angst ridden spirit.
Lyrically, dip in anywhere and you’ll find broken dreams, upside down reality, lost wishing wells, black clouds pissing on parades and playing melodies as a remedy for gruesome tales …the latter from opening cut Last Words that occasionally tumble in a Dylanish diatribe. The tide of intensity on which Pages rides shifts to the hurt and measured pace of the emotive Riddle To Some (after about a minute and a half try humming the refrain to U2’s ‘One’) and the quest for redemption. ‘Stitch’ follows in a absorbing rhythmic vibe and suddenly for those of us old enough to remember, an image of a grooving Terence Trent D’Arby hovers into view.
Gutsy and dark. Convincing and committed. It might be a tad hyperbole but hey, you can see the sound of Matt Fryers on Raw going some way to filling a small part of the space in the field left empty by the absence of Chris Cornell. Yet for however big the Soundgarden man’s boots might be to fill, there’s enough evidence to suggest the Fryers angst hits spots that even Cornell might struggle to reach. Yes, it makes that sort of impact.
The bonus is that you can grab Raw for free if you head to Matt’s website and do some simple sharing. Spread the word.
You can hear Last Words, the opening cut from the EP here: