“Halloween” starts off “Several Arrows Later”, which is really a very proper track that elcitis comparisons to both older bands like The Appleseed Cast and the newer works of Death Cab For Cutie. Matt Pond’s vocals are of that quality that individuals would sing along even if the music backing them up was not of as high of a quality as is found here. During “Halloween”, the track subtly shifts between a shoegazing style and something closer to alt-country; the unity of these really makes concrete a sense of longing. Matt Pond PA is essentially what Bright Eyes would be like if they had a more competent set of musicians; “So Much Trouble” does as much with its instruments in creating an atmosphere as Pond’s vocals could conceivably do. The bouncy tempo of “The Trees and the Wild” has so many different ways to conceivably view the track while the title track mixes together the new-dance movement popularized by bands like The Postal Service with the aforementioned “Plans”-era sound of Death Cab For Cutie.
All tracks on “Several Arrows Later” constantly vying for the title of most proper for radio play. Where a number of contemporary bands are essentially the Budweisers of indie rock (being watery and essentially without much in the way of flavor), Matt Pond PA through their dense and continually different-sounding tracks are quite like the River Horse Tripel Horse, intense and complex. While the disc nearly hits the fifty-minute mark, the tracks contained on “Several Arrows Later” never give listeners even the slightest reason to turn off the album; everything is constructed with such a care that all will continue listening even if the style of music that Matt Pond PA is not typically what the individual listens to. This is what Americana really is for me; the strings during tracks like “It Is Safe” bring a certain timelessness to “Several Arrows Later” that is only bolster by the twinkling piano that are buried deep in the track’s makeup.
The emotional content of Pond’s vocals during “City Song” most closely resemble that of early Soul Asylum or even later Goo Goo Dolls; individuals will find some part of their life and find a connection with Pond. Matt Pond and eir band are perfect matches for each other, and “Several Arrows Later” is one of the most genuine and real albums to come out in the last decade. Pick this up regardless of where your musical tastes lie.
Top Tracks: City Song, Several Arrows Later