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Matney - All Fired Up (Roulette Records)

19 February 2024

Hailing from the same musical lineage as artists such as ZZ Top and Stevie Ray Vaughan, “All Fired Up” is one of those songs powered by all the traditional building blocks that have made rock and roll arguably the most enduring genre of them all.

Building blocks include relentless groove, killer riffs, immediacy (tell me you are not singing the chorus even by the time it comes around for the second pass!), energy and anthemics, swagger and attitude, fluid solos and raunchy lyrics. If “Matney” has left anything out, then it probably doesn’t need to be anything that you worry about too much.

But, if the references and ruminations above suggest that this is perhaps music made by staring too much into the past, nothing could be further from the truth, for amongst the old-school, blues-infused, rock-infested, swampy grooves are an equal amount of of-the-moment digital touches and contemporary sounds. This is the counterpoint of a raw-edged sound of the past meeting modern day poise and polish. But not too much polish, obviously.

This is music that sits at the end of a long and illustrious family tree of Southern rock and outlaw American sounds, music that might shimmer with the familiarity of what’s gone before but which is entirely focused on its mission to take such music kicking and screaming into a bright new future, and doing so with one foot on the monitor and one fist in the air! And doing all that in exactly three minutes flat. How cool is that?