Arts & Entertainment, High Notes

Hate To Be Amazed by The Matlock Twins

By Ron Powers


Hate To Be Amazed by The Matlock Twins

I’m a sucker for clever band names. So, when one of my colleagues recently introduced me to a new band called “The Matlock Twins”, I just had to investigate. Once I heard the tunes, the case was closed. This band was guilty… of making great music that is. Their self-titled debut EP consists of four well-constructed songs that have a dreamy new wave meats jam band feel to them. For me, the standout track is “Hate To Be Amazed” and I’d like to share my experience with the song here.

The track starts with a swaying groove laid down with drums and bass. This is quickly followed with a layer of Fender-Rhodes-style keys and guitar with the reverb cranked up. The mood of the song starts to take root as the topline is introduced. With an aching and melodic sweetness, singer Alex Levene delivers the poignant lines, “In time I’ll find my one / and she’ll have met someone.” Lines like these elevate the emotional impact of the song and offer a vulnerability that most listeners appreciate.

For the pre-chorus the band switch things up, introducing a driving rhythm with guitar and bass. This creates a building tension while moving toward the chorus. There is also a cool chord transition in this section that reminds of The Beatles’ “Octopus’s Garden”. The pre-chorus finishes nicely, led by the vocal melody which provides the culminating emotion needed to lift the song into its chorus.

Although a lament, the chorus has a serene beauty to it. I am particularly struck by the vocal performance. The authenticity in the delivery and distinct timbre and tonal quality of Lavene’s voice gives “Hate To Be Amazed” a rare and original shine. Combined with excellent performances on drums, bass, keys, guitar, and lead guitar, The Matlock Twins make a compelling case as to why they are a band that stands out on today’s musical landscape.

I also enjoyed the production quality of this song. There is an organic vibe to the sound in that everything you are hearing feels like real people in a real recording studio playing music. Although big productions can be fun, I most enjoy listening to music that does not have too many recording tricks between the artist and listener. For me this helps with connecting to an artist. The drum sound is particularly enjoyable on this song. There is just the right amount of bite and body on the snare and the kick has power and impact without being overbearing. The bass guitar works nicely with the drums to establish a stable ground which allows for the effects-soaked guitars to float and swirl around. All this provides the perfect musical filigree for the vocals to sit in the midst of.

With just four songs under their belt, The Matlock Twins are off to a great start. And if a song like “Hate To Be Amazed” is any indication as to what is to come, big things are undoubtably on the horizon for this bright new act. If you would like to learn more about The Matlock Twins you can find them on Instagram. If you’d like to listen to their music, head over to  Apple Music, YouTube, or most any platform where digital music is streamed or sold.


Ron Powers

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