Are you a fan of classic rock but looking for something new? Matt Watson’s debut solo album is a glowing homage to the raw, home-style music of the golden age of classic rock, but with a distinct twist that makes this an outstanding album.
After building up his career in Toronto, doing anything and everything from music to carpentry to a brief stint on an HGTV program, Watson made the move to the West Coast to utilize his uncle’s recording studio and produce his first solo album. He had slowly developed his style in Toronto’s punk and rock scenes, playing with several bands before developing the sound that comes through in the album From Riches to Rags.
Watson’s album features a mix of upbeat and smooth, slow songs, that come together to form an album with a familiar sound, but thanks to Watson’s punk background, there is a new grungy flavour throughout these songs that plays off of the familiar genre and kicks it up a level.
The first track, “Low,” sets the tone for the entire album, finding a middle ground betwen classic rock, country, folk and punk and not being distinctly any of them. There are still the classic instrumentals, but front and centre is Watson’s fantastic, gritty voice. These edgier sounds on the album are balanced by tracks such as “Honeypot” and “Sunday Train,” which boast a mellower, ballad-like flavour, but still carry the soul of Watson’s vocals.
From Riches to Rags balances the familiar with the edgy to create a pseudo-classic rock album with hints of new rock and punk. Watson breathes new life into the genre and invigorates it for a modern audience.