Matt Pond PA – Last Light

Matt Pond PA – Last Light / 2007 Altitude / 13 Tracks / / /

I can’t believe that Matt Pond PA has been around for practically ten years. Well, after listening to “Last Light”, I can, but still. “The title (and opening track) shows exactly mature Matt Pond PA is. The atmospheric sound of the alt-rock that the band plays has comparisons ready-made to acts like Modest Mouse, while still having links to the fun eighties pop such as Midnight Oil. What results during songs and albums like “Last Light” is something that is truly timeless; individuals could be listening to this album in 2027 and still find lyrics and structures that relate to them.

The inclusion of a piano to “People Have A Way” throws a little bit of a Billy Joel-like joviality to Matt Pond PA’s sound, but the emotional and instrumental intensity that first reared its head on “Last Light” does not disappear when the style shifts. Rather, the two strains unite to create something more complex, more intricate, and more impressive than anything that has previously been heard. “Locate The Piece” continues the party, as it shows Matt Pond PA as an act that can completely throw out the outward style of prior tracks but still maintain some sort of commonality with the same tracks. “Locate The Pieces” has a much more slower and deliberate sound than either “Last Light” and “People Have A Way”, but the simpler sound of this track does not eschew the complexities in emotion and sound that have been cultivated up to that point of “Last Light”. Later tracks, such as “Sunlight” and “Until The East Coast Ends, twinkle as brightly as the first steps taken by Matt Pond PA on this album; it is not the band’s purpose to put out a few singles and a heap of forgettable tracks. “Foreign Bedrooms” has a much more jangly sound than other songs on “Last Light”, which turns interpretation of the vocals in a slightly different way. “Foreign Bedrooms” has the vaguest tint of early Cure, despite the much more happy outward appearance of the track to anything that was on “The Top” or “Three Imaginary Boys”.

Matt Pond PA show that they can continually create interesting music, whether it be on a song to song or an album to album basis. Few acts can make it to the 10 year mark; with the successes that the band has notched on their belt with this album, it would be a good guess that the act could stick together for quite a few more years after this. For interesting, contemplative indie rock, “Last Light” is the Matt Pond PA album to pick up.

Top Tracks: The Crush, Giving It All Away

Rating: 6.8/10

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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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