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Matt Simon – The Septicle Testicle

matt-simon-TST

Taking cues from classic rock and hair metal, Matt Simon’s male-gonad-themed record The Septicle Testicle bursts into life on opening track ‘Sack Attack’.

After the initial chorus-laden rhythm guitar, some characteristic noodling begins… and then it all kicks in. It’s a track with plenty going for it, with oddly harmonised licks, a bit of polka, and confident bass runs.

It’s followed by ‘Cutlery Butlery’, a really chugger of a track, with Matt Simon’s Satriani-esque squeals along the way. Tonally the song is rich and well balanced, with the right smoothness-to-grittiness ratio.

‘Lush’ moves in a softer direction, with bowed guitar parts and sweet reverb. There are some musical surprises to be found as well, the riffs wandering down paths you might not expect, but always finding its way back to keep on the journey ahead.

‘Midnight Gooch Marinade’ is stylistically even more varied, opening with an organ that leads into a strings section and closing with a distant recorder.

‘Don’t Be Greedy With The VD’ cracks up the weirdness with funk guitar, non-English spoken word, and saxaphone. Strangely enough, it’s a lot of fun and curiously holds the attention throughout.

‘Gonad Nomad’ has a world music vibe to it, with floating harmonics and hints of sitar amongst the strings. The track wavers between darker and lighter tones as it continues along, directed by Matt Simon’s solos.

There’s something of a jazzy lounge feel to ‘Rubik’s Pube’, particularly in the bass part. It’s a smooth track that works well with the bite of the guitar work that permeates throughout.

The Septicle Testicle concludes with ‘Scrotesque’, and it’s a beast. Chugging away, guitars screaming from every angle, it’s a thrill of metal. The harmonics are there, and there’s a bit on jangle in the mix to keep things interesting. It’s no surprise to see the album end with some shredding, but it is joined by some gentle classical guitar at the track’s mid-point, before winding down with some synthy warbles like psychadelic worms pulling you down to the depths to rest.

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