My heart just broke.
Alright, it didn’t really break that bad- but my expectations were decently high.
Matt & Toby.
As in Matt Carter and Toby Morrell, the lead guitarist and lead singer of the rock band Emery.
These dudes decided to put the screams and heaviness and sweat and…all that stuff that comes along with being in a hard band on a shelf, and bust out the acoustic guitar, mandolin, and whatever other folk-y instruments they could find for a (hopefully) one-off side project, appropriately titled, Matt & Toby.
I may be a guy that likes my tunes with a little more electric than acoustic, but I’m all for this kind of idea – lots of people have pulled it off. Look at Dustin Kensrue from Thrice. Look at Stephen Christian from Anberlin. Look at Tom Gabel (or now, Laura Jane Grace) from Against Me!
It can be done, and it can be done well.
I’m not sure what teenage emotions that these guys have decided to channel here, or why they thought it was a good idea. It wasn’t, and it isn’t. So many of these songs are acoustic emo tracks that sound dated, and honestly, it’s kind of sad to listen to guys from a band that I enjoy so much perform songs that are just….boring. Also: reaching. Not necessarily self-loathing, but overall, this really isn’t relatable to me – unless possibly I was at a much younger age where I was really unsure of who I was as a man. Maybe they’re reaching for that audience; a younger demographic. I mean, who else are you shooting for with lines like, “Talk to me without texting your friends / About how dumb this is and how dumb you’ve been / You’re staring at your phone, your uniform in your hand / You say that you’ll be late but I already am.”
Come on guys, you can do better than that!
We had the best times of our lives
Let’s do it all again
Take back my place there by your side
And never let it end
The hours passed like days
The nights were our escape
We held onto our friends
And made a couple million mistakes
We were so reckless and young
Go get your CD case
Let’s drive around this town
Sing Dashboard at the top of our lungs
Come on guys! What is that?! You’ve been writing records for years, and this is what I’m getting out of a solo record where you can do whatever you want?
I wouldn’t even recommend that you listen to the track Prodigal Sons And Daughters. It’s just uncomfortable to listen to, because it’s just not good music. It’s cheesy, man. The beat, the lyrics, all of it.
I hate to write these things, because these are good Christian men. I’ve seen Emery countless times. They put on a great show! They’re men who live out their convictions. They love their fans, and they are invested in them! I assure you, when Emery release a new record, I don’t buy that thing the day after it comes out. I buy that thing the day it comes out.
But through the course of my life, I’ve learned one thing.
Call and spade a spade.
I’m calling it: unless possibly you’re under the age of 16, this is not very entertaining music.
Save for The Last One. It’s actually pretty good. I have to give them that
If you had to listen to two tracks: The Last One / Good Boys