Northstar Session songwriter, lead singer, and guitarist Matt Szlachetka is more introspective here than with the Session but his considerable strengths are in full flower – especially his ability to craft a song organically into something pleasing to the ears.
For “Wasting Time” or “You’re Home To Me,” which owe a little to Jackson Browne and, in turn, bands like Blue Rodeo, Szlachetka is bright but not silly, pop-like but not flighty.
A guitar player who writes fine songs and a songwriter who plays great guitar, his songs are built from the ground up, melody and groove at the foundation, typically supported by acoustic guitar and colored by tight electric breaks with no time wasted on empty pyrotechnics.
Even on the skeletal California ska of “Little Things In Life Can Show You Love” or the impressively earthy blues of “I Can’t Look At Your Face,” the central question asked and answered is that of what’s right for the song. If you know when to hold on and when to let go, you end up with a great little record like this one of spirited, intelligent pop with a vibrant rock and roll heart.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s January ’15 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.