The Muse of Senor Ray
posted on 6/2006 By:
The great tongue-in-cheek rock’n’roll revival continues with Matadors and their debut album, The Muse of Señor Ray. Now, I normally don’t have much of a stomach for this sort of schlocky pseudo-throwback shit, so these fellas might be starting out with a disadvantage here. They don’t do a whole lot to recover from it, either; The Muse of Señor Ray is uninspiring enough that I put off reviewing it just so I didn’t have to listen to it. Fundamental blues-based hard rock has been done to fucking death, guys. Tacking on some sort of cheesedick occasional Spanish-sounding gimmick isn’t going to make it any more interesting.
Okay, so maybe I’m being a little harsh, but this band definitely grates on me. They’re not doing straight Led Zep worship or anything. They’ve got that semi-modernized thing going on, like Clutch or early Monster Magnet without the former’s quirky complexity or the latter’s hazy atmospherics. What’s left are a bunch of basic power chord riffs, pentatonic-minor leads, slightly off-key Neil Fallon-styled vocals, and a collection of extremely pedestrian rock songs that thankfully restrain themselves to the two to four minute range. There’s just nothing even approaching noteworthy going on here. There are a couple decent seventies-styled solos here and there, and the largely up-tempo drumming provides a fairly energetic rhythmic backbone for the high school garage band drivel going on over top of it. Like I said, I’ve got a short fuse when it comes to this style, but good lord, washing machines have more musical appeal for me than this.
Bottom line is that I can’t recommend this to anyone who isn’t a complete recidivist or who doesn’t wish rock music had never evolved outside of verse-chorus song structures. A couple cutesy little thematic mariachi breakdowns and Phrygian chord progressions just make Matadors a little more aggravating. I wouldn’t mind never hearing anything like this again.
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