Onll Artist Matt Kim Grand Rock Pop Music Product Type Compact Disc

Label: One Label ( ONLL ). Product Type: Compact Disc. “I’m feeling restless; don’t slow down ” advises Matt Johnson during Grand, the hyperkinetic follow-up to Matt & Kim’s equally hyperkinetic debut. Grand makes good use of that advice, sandwiching 11 songs into a half-hour blast of snare hits and bouncing, buzzing synthesizer riffs. Johnson handles the bulk of the vocals, singing every song in a nasal, nerd-chic tenor while overdubbing his own harmonies. Yet it’s the chemistry between Johnson and his partner, drummer Kim Schifino, that helps fuel the band’s energy, even if Schifino’s presence is somewhat muted by the album’s beefed-up production (which polishes her wild percussion into tight, precise beats — not a poor decision, necessarily, but hardly representative of her live performances). Building off the template established by the band’s first album, Grand aims for the middle point between sugared melody and punked-out swagger, making room for stomp-clap percussion, dancefloor electronics, and jingle-worthy songwriting along the way. Grand isn’t quite as majestic as its name suggests, with only a handful of songs moving past the anxious minimalism that permeated the last album. For returning fans, though, it provides a familiar brand of punk music for happy people, for lovebirds, for those who wish Mates of State had more swagger and less glockenspiel. Andrew Leahey, Rovi.

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