Every once in a while you come across a song that stops you in your tracks and makes you think how amazing music is. Yesterday night at a music sync conference listening session, I had one of these moments. All of the tracks we were being shown were fantastic: there was a great Finnish dubstep act I’d like to hear more of, and there was a melancholy solo artist whose songs were very poignant – but me, I’m a rock man, and this song by Little Matador did something to me. Reading up on the band, it turns out that it’s not so surprising that this band sound so good – but I was touched just by what I was listening to, not reading, and that is all that matters. Get those horns of rock ready because this is a good one.
Little Matador are a 5 piece band from Ireland and the southern coast of England with a hidden, and unexpected card up their sleeve. As it turns out, this is the latest project from none other than the guitarist of Snow Patrol, Nathan Connolly. After the pummelling my ears got sitting politely in the middle of the conference hall, I couldn’t have picked a link to a band that would have shocked me more! Now if you’re reading this before listening to the song, you probably already have a preconception about what you are about to hear: something a bit slower, something a bit poppy to sing along to and some heart felt vocals; you know, like you would expect a Snow Patrol band to sound like. BUT, consider this: the band have recently supported stoner rock legends Queens of The Stone Age, and have been selected by HMV as one of the hot prospects for the year. QOTSA picking a middle of the road band for support? No, I think not…
“Boom Boom”, their latest single from the band’s EP “Liar Liar” is a gloriously ‘in your face’ rock track that pounds your face into a delicious submission. Although the intro is gentle and unassuming on first listen, you know something isn’t quite right: it feels ominous, and the intentionally atonal vocals add a punk/alt vibe that is certainly welcome to my ears. The homorhythm of the drums and the “Boom, Boom” builds your anticipation to fever point, and when it kicks in, the production spreads the song out wide and envelopes you in a mass of distorted guitars.
*Readers: put those earphones in and listen to this track!*
This song has a ‘width’ to it that I last experienced when listening to the Arcane Roots album “Chemistry” (which is an absolute monster of an album if you haven’t had a chance to listen to it). The width of the chorus amplifies all the energy you are already hearing in the song into a monstrous explosion of sound, and when it becomes ‘closer’ and more ‘narrow’ in the verse, you are just waiting for those guitars to kick back in. This song gets me excited. This is clever writing and production.
There are two elements that make this track stand out from other rock songs I’ve heard recently: firstly the chord progression in the chorus isn’t an obvious one – it catches you off guard, and the melodies that come out of it are all the better for it. It has an early QOTSA quality to it. This is the sound of an experienced band that doesn’t write clichéd music. And secondly, the bizarre sounding vocals in the chorus is a brave, and a very creative one. This isn’t shouting as we know it: these are the guttural, primeval sounds of a man full of energy and chaos – can you imagine this live?! WOW! I can’t think of anything I can compare his shouting to: and THAT is fantastic.
Little Matador are DEFINITELY going to be on my radar from now on. If their other songs are anything like this one (I haven’t listened to the others yet because I was dying to write about this one whilst I was excited!), then I am a converted listener, and I hope you are too.
Like the band on Facebook here.