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CD of The Week

Week of 7/29/19

    Mattiel - Satis Factory (ATO)

    Mattiel, the band fronted by Mattiel Brown, is the latest act to meld '60's retro-rock with modern sensibilities. On the second Mattiel record, Satis Factory, the group stakes their claim as one of the most promising new acts of 2019.

    Satis Factory goes all-in on its soulful, reverb-heavy sound, reminiscent of The Black Keys, The Black Angels and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Unsurprisingly, Mattiel ended up on the radar of Jack White, who had them open a handful of shows for him last year.

    Time and again on Satis Factory, Brown shows her strength and confidence. The swaggering garage/blues-rock of "Rescue You" has Brown declaring "I ain't here to argue and I ain't here to rescue you." There's the withering put-downs of "Food for Thought" and the big, poppy kiss-off of a lead single

    "Keep the Change." On "Millionaire," which clearly owes a bit of a debt to the haze of The Velvet Underground, Brown celebrates that just getting to this spot early in her career feels like a massive success, singing, "Took a hundred years to get this microphone / Now I wanna sell everything I own."

    For an Atlanta-based act with a sound firmly based in the American rock tradition, Mattiel actually take us all around the globe on Satis Factory. "Je Ne Me Connais Pas" is French for "I do not know myself" and follows that grand tradition of "Psycho Killer" with its partial lyrics en Francais. "Populonia" goes to Italy and on the rollicking, Farfisa organ-driven "Berlin Weekend," Brown hits the road and celebrates her love of travel. She sings of how "All the grass is greener across the Atlantic / And indoor livin' gon' get me in a panic." Even when she comes home to her dead plants, "it's just too much fun to forget where you're from."

    Sometimes Mattiel's material gets into rote, blues-rock with old school guitar tones that you've certainly heard before, but Brown's personality elevates it. Mattiel come to Philadelphia opening up for Temples on November 10th at Union Transfer.
    Review by Joey O.

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