Everything about Bain Mattox’s sophomore album, Prizefighter, is top notch: the artwork, the packaging, the production and, most of all, the music.
Mattox’s self-titled debut was decent enough, but Prizefighter — part-funded by a fanatical fan base — ups the Athens, Georgia, native’s game considerably, thanks to the combination of a sonically sound production job by John Briglevich and a collection of absorbing, if slightly downcast and dark modern rock songs by Mattox and his permanent backing band.
Sounding like a cross between Matchbox Twenty and Dave Matthews Band, Mattox’s material has a real depth that gives songs like “Timebomb” and “Grace” an irresistible slow-burning quality, and material like “Fine Line” and the title track a quirky, yet radio-ready edge. “Telegram,” with its piano base and groovy, laid-back rhythm, recalls the likes of Gavin DeGraw, while the melancholy “Tragic Keys” is a well-written, melodic anthem to the disenfranchised and depressed.
It’s easy to see why Mattox has attracted such attention locally and nationally, because quite simply, Prizefighter delivers a knockout blow to the majority of its independently released rivals.
Bain Mattox: www.bainmattox.com