Matt Baker – Proceed With Caution
Matt Baker could easily be dubbed, using that old label that plagued Blue Oyster Cult for much of their career, “thinking man’s metal” on his new single “Proceed with caution“. Sure, for those concerned with combative guitar and drum and bass assaults, some of that is to be found here. However, just like Incubus attempted, a generation prior to their music, Baker is just as interested in interjecting deep thoughts and moody, atmospheric instrumentals into his work.
The lyrics deal with the theme of confronting personal fears. There are even spoken word elements that accompany these weighty meditations. Time doesn’t stop, it slows down a languid voice proclaims as if the singer was finding himself in an endless computer game loop.
Musically there’s plenty going on as well. The guitar tones are tailored towards the prog-rock market as is the song’s construction. The melodies share a common thread with the spooky whispered inflexion of James Maynard Keenan and the over-the-top presentation of James LaBrie.
“Proceed with caution” packs a lot of information into less than four minutes of music, an adventurous move in an era of a collective mental blur.
Dearbones – Feed The Birds
“Feed the birds” is a scary and loud song about addiction. Now, rock n roll has had its numerous shares of addicts (it’s something of a professional hazard after all) and, hence, numerous songs about addiction. Usually, the topic is dealt with lightly and the people in question are traded upon with sympathy.
Judging by the liner notes to the song and, possibly the lyrics (couldn’t tell you) Dearbones have a different view on the matter. The song deals with how addiction, lack of desire to get help, and the lies that inevitably accompany this, all affect those in the immediate circle of the person suffering from dependency. It’s a harsh story, almost as harsh as the sounds produced on “Feed the birds“, but one that is absolutely true. From Hubert Shelby’s writing to stories about Johnny Thunders or Syd Vicious, the moral is that one can never trust a junkie. That’s not heartlessness. That’s a fact.
Musically, the song sounds unhinged as self-respecting post-hardcore music should. Dearbones seem like folks who like to have a laugh once in a while, but probably not on stage. The performance of “Feed the birds” could easily shake some teeth loose.