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The Mattoid: Hello

The Mattoid: Hello

Label:Cleft Music/Morphius
Release Date:2004

By Bret McCabe | Posted 6/9/2004

Big ups to a bald man in a robe willing to rock the mic like David Johansen unleashing his inner Sunshine Superman. The Mattoid, a Nashville, Tenn.-based folk singer from Finland, knows that the best way to work the fey-simple guitar and hand-clap beat is to possess a third-eye-opening baritone and sing things such as "doink, doink, doink/ doink, doink, doink, doink/ doink, doink, doink, yeah/ let's dance" like you really mean it, man. It also helps when your backing musicians are named Loney Hutchins, Sunflower, and Poppy Fields. The Mattoid's debut, Hello, is but some nudie pics and love beads shy of redeeming latter-day hippies.

Hello's 12 tracks run amok through zany religious-revival rockers ("Funeral Party": "Now the priest is talking/ and the casket starts to move/ everybody's crying/ we've all got the groove"), go-go girl skirt shaking ("Shiny Woman"), summery strum-und-harangue surrealism ("Juri Gagarin"), maudlin gossamer that bubbles and purrs like a cheesy spy flick sexy interlude ("Happiness"), and one jaunty little ditty about a woman trying to off her man ("Rat Poison," bucolically voiced by the aforementioned Ms. Poppy Fields). But it's the Mattoid's irrepressible vocal presence--the breakdown in "Shiny Woman" is a Australopithecine growl of "Om om ommmmmmmmmmm, yeah"--that latches onto the brain like an aneurysm clip.

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