Matt Woods – Something Surreal

Matt Woods – Something Surreal / 2004 Self / 12 Tracks / /

Most the time when I receive CDs done by a band with the name of an individual (typically the leader of the band), what I am “treated” to is something that is quiet, singer-songwriter styled, and is something that essentially rehashes the collected works of artists like Dave Matthews and John Maher. However, Matt Woods and the rest of eir band on “Something Surreal” come forth with a scintillating approach to the disc that will keep individuals stuck at the edge of their seats for the entirety of the disc. While there are some tracks on this album that do go into that same general style I mentioned, there are much harder tracks present, as well as variations that run the gamut of all the different styles in between.

“Life Between” has a style that most closely approximates that of a Stephen Curtis Chapman, Lifehouse, and Goo Goo Dolls all placed in a blender and whirled together. The result is something that could easily be charting on any  radio station, and is done with a good enough production that nothing would need to be changed for that to happen. “Lyndall” is a high spot on “Something Surreal”, as the Dishwalla-esque sound to the instruments here work well with the vocals, which in turn take on a little bit of a mix of the New Radicals and Barenaked Ladies. Top that off with a sizzling, Santana-esque guitar solo and Woods has a track that should be able to reach for the stars. The slower sound of a “Hiding” may not immediately cal fans to arms, but the finesse exerted during this track will ensure that converts are many by the end of the song. Another strong track on “Something Surreal” is “Misconception”.

The track itself occupies the middle grown between “Hiding” and “Life Between”, but has the right constellation of sounds and styles to make the song into yet another hit for Matt Woods. I can totally see this band playing the college circuit for a few years, but they should have their place in the sun sooner rather than later. Give this disc a go if you like rock music that has a little edge but is not afraid to show its’ softer side. The band works within a genre that has been covered a number of time, but can throw a few curveballs in and incorporate them into the larger context of the disc.

Top Tracks: Won’t Forget, Hiding

Rating: 7.1/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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