by tom johnson
Consistently one of the most inventive songwriters on these unfair shores, Mat Riviere returns today with a beautiful new collection of songs, wrapped-up and presented as the Terrible Trouble EP; featuring five new songs and released on tape this April via Super Smash Hit Records.
Like a hurried rush through some slightly-altered new world you never quite understand, Riviere’s work is always a charming, if somewhat removed experience, but there’s a real sense of warm here, most notably on the inviting opening track ‘San Pell‘ which does a good job of welcoming you deep in to his world before the thought of escape has even begun to cross your mind. Possibly the record’s stand-out moment, ‘San Pell‘ is a shape-shifting delight, even recalling Ricky Eat Acid in its more playful moments.
‘Accidentsss‘ returns Riviere to his more grainy, lofi sound before Bastardgeist’s Joel Midden sprinkles his familiar, absorbing gold-dust upon its closing couple of minutes. Midden’s presence, in fact, is felt throughout and acts as an often fetching counterpoint to the more robust frenzies of the work. ‘Wwkd’ is a slow-march through warped vocals and deep, muscular instrumental, which always keeps an air of grace about it, before the closing two tracks do their best impression of a lasting impression, imparting an oddly moving sense of grey, dusty melancholy upon proceedings, despite the fragmented nature of its demeanour. And that’s what stays. For all the breadth of its exploration, the whole EP feels satisfyingly small, like some quietened soundtrack to our own small thoughts and discoveries.
It’s hard, actually, to put a finger on just what it is that makes this collection such an engrossing listen, but perhaps that’s why, when the dust slowly settles at the end of ‘Snuck‘, it all feels so compellingly magic.
And it really, really does.
The ‘Terrible Trouble’ tape will be available for pre-order on March 15th.