Atlanta crooner, Mattiel Brown, backed by Randy Michael (guitar) and Jonah Swilley (drums), bring their 2018 EP, Customer Copy, to a new set of ears, being released on streaming platforms last week. Housed under the surf-wop label, Burger Records, Mattiel’s folk-rock soul and indie edges curate a sugared sound which blossoms from the roster. The 6-track delivery is a scattered yet polished assortment, all cut from a classic rock cloth. Cohesively stitched in notion though, the EP can easily reflect the ensemble’s travels and on-the-go environment which cleverly is portrayed as the receipt left behind.
Growing up on a five-acre farm in Brooks, Georgia, Brown’s country roots are present throughout, and stylistically meld with Michael’s experience as a session musician (Bruno Mars) and Swilley’s neo-soul production, resulting in the EP’s most commercial track “Follow My Name.” The lo-fi fuzz, pop filter, dilutes the garage rock sound to a pleasing amount, broadening the scope for listeners. Following suit comes across the upbeat, surf-bop, “Game Show” which slightly derails the EP’s overall messaging.
The remainder of tracks are passionate and tailored to bridging gap of old and young listeners. Acting as one of the strongest tracks on the album, “Midwest Hotel” enchants on a blues-rock pulse. Assertive guitar riffs, and a honeyed rasp by Brown, kick up a dusty tone. Slithering into “Detroit Riot” is equally as satisfying for its crunchy twang and folk penmanship, all while immersing in the indie bath of lo-fi that is heavy on all six tracks.
Nodding at either the political climate or certain social stances, the ensemble’s comments on “Baron’s Sunday Best” and “East Coast Swing” are heard louder with each listen. What comes across as an obvious play-on of Barron Trump, noting sly remarks about a silver spoon, “Baron’s Sunday Best” puts into perspective the Lord meaning and ideology with current events. Tastefully done, without unnecessary ridicule, the track’s easy going demeanor comes across rather sweetly.
Continuing on “East Coast Swing,” the upbeat tempo and addictive bounce, juxtaposes Brown’s tale. The tune whistler effortlessly flows from verse to verse, as Brown taps on ears: “The Williamsburg ladies, are having more babies / quietly adhering to the new right wing.” If this is the receipt that we are left with at the end of the day, we all need to revisit our own customer copy.