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  Golden Days Before They End  
  Matt Suggs  
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Butterglory were one of those underrated Indie rock bands. Maybe it was because they were hard to categorize -- too poppy for your standard depressive moping; too low-fi to get radio play. When they broke up in 1997, the two principle members seemingly disappeared...

Finally one of them, Matt Suggs, has re-emerged finally with a brand new album, Golden Days Before They End. Based upon his previous band, I was expecting...I don't know....some drum driven pop with distorted guitars...or something like that. Maybe some heart-wrenching complaints about life and breakups.

So when the first song started off with a slight Ben Folds influence of piano and semi lounge-y vocals, I was a bit surprised...but I started to bop my head along involuntarily. And I was surprised by the strength of the lyricism of Soon The Moon Will Glow and its catchy pop organ melody.

As the album continued, I struggled to place the influences -- I knew it was in the vein of something familiar, but I couldn't find it. Yeah, there's that one song (Where's Your Patience, Dear?) that you can hear a little Velvet Underground on.....and of course, The Rambler picks from an Irish melody (and could be an instrumental by the mid-80s Pogues)...but certainly the instrumentation was too lush to be categorized easily.

But you can't get through a review without drawing a comparison, can you? so here it goes: as if the Wedding Present were doing songs by Jeff Mangum (of Neutral Milk Hotel).

That still doesn't do it justice -- Matt Suggs's new release draws one back in and, furthermore, it's definitely a change of pace for him. And at first glance, it's quite a good change indeed. However, upon repeated listening, it seems that the full instrumentation covers up a lack of substance in the music itself and that the change in direction evident from song to song only shows a lack of coherent vision.

Good freshman effort, but needs a little more focus.

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