Matt Long And The Revenant Ones – The Other Side
Release Date: 16/07/2021
Running Time: 50:30
Review by Simon Black
This is a new project from Catfish frontman Matt Long. It has been held back from release since last summer, because let’s face it you don’t ideally want to launch a new side project when you can’t get out on the road to support it. For a three piece, they pack a lot of punch too, with Long (on vocals and guitar) being joined by fellow Catfish bassist Adam Pyke and Kev Hickman (Raven Eye) on the drum stool. Long’s vocals are gutsy, soulful and powerfully loud in the mix, with his sole guitar providing a wall of growl against which the rhythm section pounds with slab-like efficiency.
This album has a coiled, tensed up energy, just waiting to explode – like one assumes, the band themselves under the circumstances. It’s a debut, but one delivered by highly experienced musos, which means you get nine well-crafted fat and meaty songs, with a darn fine song-writing sensibility behind them, delivered on a platter of piquant musicianship with a rich fat production sauce. It’s also one of those albums that’s a definite grower.
Opening with huge, hard and heavy wave of discordance, this album kicks the door firmly between the planks with the positively Stoner weight of ‘So’. The album stays that down and dirty throughout, with more of a Black Stone Cherry style of riffage appearing and balancing with the Stoner groove fairly from early on, but peppered with a healthy portion of Blues vibe and a whole lot of soulfulness in Long’s charismatic vocal delivery. This is definitely a heavier, more down-tuned and riffier sound than the more Bluesy sound Catfish fans might be expecting, but the variety of styles here makes for a far more interesting sound. It’s also Metal enough for the more traditional rivet heads like me to get off on it too, with a few dollops of an almost Power Metal tempo for good measure in places.
To be fair that’s the consistent tone and feel throughout, although the pace and sound vary enormously, making for a highly rich listening experience. ‘Have My Say’ is a much pacier piece and a great up-tempo Blues infused rocker that would not sound amiss on a Joe Bonamassa album. When the pace does slow down, as with ‘Dark And Lonely Room’ we see an acoustic and soulful side to Long, who leads the song alone with a clean semi-acoustic guitar for the first half before he rips everyone a new one with a full on power ballad close out. It’s positively Neolithic in its heaviness, and one of the unexpected highlights of the record, but not the only track to take this approach. The album is not afraid to take it’s time either, with both ‘With My Own Eyes’ and the absolute highlight, album closer ‘Across The Borderline’ – again semi-acoustic at the outset but each taking over seven minutes to take the listener on a well-crafted journey of heaviness. And check out Long’s superb Bluesy solo at the end of ‘Borderline’, which is worth waiting for as the album crashes out as heavily as it opened. Spot on chaps.
‘Feel Like A Saint’ (Official Video)
02. Have My Say
03. Stone Bones
04. Dark And Lonely Room
05. Take It All
06. Wild Animal
07. With My Own Eyes
08. Feel Like A Saint
09. Across The Borderline
Matt Long – Guitars & Vocals
Adam Pyke – Bass
Kev Hickman – Drums
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