Al Matcott, one of Australia’s rising blues-grunge artists has emerged with his debut EP You Can Be Anyone, a collection of sentiments and stories form Matcott’s world that encompass elements of Americana, blues rock and folk. Formally a drummer and guitarist/ singer in a number of bands in the Australian DIY scene, Matcott has honed in his songwriting narrative to offer up the first slice of what he’s all about.
The most immediate thing you realise upon listening to this EP is that this is only a flavour of what Matcott is capable of, but you’re given a big enough portion to be able to digest Matcott’s shining personality and love of guitar. Jerking into action with opener “The Truthseeker” Matcott displays his form of songwriting in glorious form. With its stop start motion drive it feels as though Matcott is clicking in the gears, about to set the full bluesy drive into full motion. Recorded in his mothers house in Castlemaine, Victoria you can hear the rawness of Matcott’s sound in every aspect, from the slap-back vocals to the crusty guitars. It sounds almost live, and the immediate energy of Matcott’s performance is present in every moment. With the track gradually climaxing into a frenzy of melodies and blues riffs Matcott feels like he’s in full bloom, every aspect that the song has been leading up to resonating loud.
Both “The Truthseeker” and “Mediocre” stretching over the 5 and a half minute mark and beyond and it becomes apparent that Matcott would rather feed in slow elements of his sound when and if needed. Like a well-grafted novel, he’s in no rush to deliver it’s final climactic showdown, rather they have to be earned. On the latter there’s a subtle layer of disdain wrapped all over the track, from it’s shifting tonal balance at almost every turn as Matcott asks “You could be anyone / Why would you choose to be / Such a mediocre person”. Whether it’s a battle of self belief or questioning of another, Matcotts clever lyricism and storytelling finesse shines through above the rest.
The more poignant second half of the EP has Matcott evoking the likes of indie-blues/ folk powerhouse Kurt Vile on “Justine”. His vocal style may resemble that of Vile’s B’lieve I’m Going Down days, but there’s also something more to Matcott’s sound that you can’t escape from. It’s as though he’s telling you a tale round a campfire, backed by a swathe of grunge filled and almost euphoric instrumentation. Pounding beat and rolling riffs aplenty, this track is sure to appear on any American-outlaw TV show soundtrack. And on “Friends Of Us All” Matcott brings out his inner Springsteen, as he crushes lead melodies one after another and details the turmoil of a friend in need.
What this EP details about Matcott is indeed that he can be anyone. Whether he’s playing the role of the outlaw or the loveable rogue, he captures the spirit of Americana-blues and indie rock at its core.