A killer new full length album release from Matthew W. Charles takes the cake with a damn fun and completely danceable set of folk-rock song that all come with a punk undertone that sticks true throughout the records play and it all comes through with a heavy-handed punch to the gut musically, vocally, and even lyrically.
The Critical Transmission album is packed with crisp and colorful songs and the perfect attitude that all comes with honesty and less boundaries than most. This is true punk style.
The record is bright, endlessly fun, and keeps to this full-bodied sound and energy that you simply can't get enough of.
The more the record plays on, the more folk punk it gets with a number of punch packing edgy songs that get you wanting to put your fists in the air and sing right along.
There are songs that are crammed full of lyrics and phrasing that takes a few listens to catch onto and sing along but it's such a good time and it has a crazy drive behind it that never dies out.
Acoustics, drums, bass, and harmonica along with tons of character riddled vocals make this album catchy, and addictive as hell.
With the release of such a great record, we wanted to have a chat with Matthew W. Charles to find out how this all came to be.
Here's what happened.
Buzz Slayers: Let's kick things off with the Critical Transmission album. This record has a great folk-rock feel to it. Where did this album come from?
Most of these songs I've wrote over the past few years. I've been playing them live and fine tuning them over time. When I started recording Critical Transmission this past summer the songs really started to come together.
When I play live it's usually just me and a guitar. I had some ideas of adding other instrumentation for the recording, and I just started adding layers in the studio. Like I said everything really started coming together, and some of these songs really took on a new life by the time I finished laying down all the tracks.
Buzz Slayers: When did this all start for you?
I've been playing music most of my life, ever since I was a young teenager. I've played in a bunch of bands since then, touring the states and putting out a bunch of DIY records. In 2011 I started playing solo, I was still playing in bands but not always playing as much as I'd like to. I wrote and recorded a LP by myself back in 2011 then and just started playing out. Since then I've released several EP's and LP's and I've toured throughout the states and across Europe.
Buzz Slayers: What inspires you to write a song?
Well, talking about the songs I wrote for Critical Transmission. I was inspired to write some lyrics that challenged people, songs that make people think. I think there is a serious lack of nuance in today's world, I'm trying really hard to point that out, and make some really catchy tunes to back it up!
Buzz Slayers: This album has some great styles! Can you give us some of your top musical influences?
Well, I'm influenced by lots of music, from early punk, to folk, to blues to hiphop. I have always been influenced by 90's Lookout Records bands and 90's Fat Records bands. Other than straight punk I was big fans The Pixies, Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul. Early Beck records were also a big influence on my acoustic playing, and through Beck I got more into early folk and blues tunes they he was influenced by.
Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
I am part owner of a screen printing business in Philadelphia, PA called Do It Now T-shirts that specializes in making merchandise for bands, everything from screen printed t-shirts to cassette and CD duplication. That's a majority of where my time is spent, but when I'm not working at all I'm doing something outdoors, like hiking or biking.
Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?
Last thing I was listening to was Glasseater's "7 Years Bad Luck". I hadn't listened to that record in years, but just dug up a bunch of my old CD's and pulled that one out.
Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now?
Yes, I have a lot of stuff lined up. I'm doing a small run in December to Boston and back, hitting up New Jersey, Boston, Connecticut and New York City. I'm planning a longer tour to Texas and back in January and February in 2023 where I'll be hitting up a bunch of spots in the south and the Midwest.
Buzz Slayers: This record feels like a big undertaking, is there any advice you'd give to other up and coming artists out there?
Just don't forget to have fun playing music. It sounds sill but I see a lot of people work hard, have high expectations that don't work out, and then they get frustrated and give up. They forget why they started playing music in the first place.
Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?
December 2nd Critical Transmission comes out! I'll be touring as much as I can so hopefully so please keep a look out on my tour dates from when I'm coming through.
Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Thanks for your support. Check out the new record, I really think you'll like it, it's the best one yet!