Music Reviews
Boxers

Matthew Ryan

Boxers

The artwork for Boxers, singer-songwriter Matthew Ryan’s 10th solo record, instructs the listener to ‘play loudly’. And with the emphasis firmly on raw, in-your-face guitars and a pitch-perfect production job by Kevin Salem, it’s well-founded advice.

But due to the captivating resonance of the album’s 11 songs, there should also be an equally important instruction: to ‘play repeatedly’.

After a distinguished and varied career featuring quality albums such as the breakout debut May Day, the seminal Regret Over the Wires and the outstanding Matthew Ryan Vs the Silver State, right from the opening riff and gang vocals of the title track, it’s clear that Boxers could well be Ryan’s best album yet.

Ryan’s two previous albums have been more reflective and low-key efforts, but the swaggering “This One’s For You, Frankie” and the raucous “Anthem For the Broken” offer proof that turning up the amps again is an inspired decision.

“Heaven’s Hill” documents the plight of a recently-redundant man amongst a soaring chorus and superb lead guitar from the Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon. The pop-flavoured “Suffer No More” offers a song of hope to the blue collar workforce and “God’s Not Here Tonight” addresses religion head-on. By tackling such issues, it’s evident Boxers is an album with a real lyrical earthiness.

Those themes continue on the delicate, yet powerful “We Are Libertines,” but the defining moments of an outstanding album are the one-two combination of the startlingly good “Then She Threw Me Like a Hand Grenade” and the evocative and quite beautiful “Until Kingdom Come,” featuring more stellar guitar work from Fallon.

Like a knockout blow from Muhammad Ali, Boxers will floor you with its subtle lyrical brilliance, genuine melodic force and sheer rock n’roll attitude. In a skewed musical age where celebrity often trumps talent, it’s a triumphant statement of intent that the latter still matters in 2014.

Matthew Ryan: http://www.matthewryanonline.com


Recently on Ink 19...

Gasoline Lollipops

Gasoline Lollipops

Features

Gasoline Lollipops’ newest single, “Freedom Don’t Come Easy,” is today’s mother lovin’ punk rock folk anthem.

Basket Case

Basket Case

Screen Reviews

Frank Henenlotter’s gory grindhouse classic Basket Case looks as grimy as the streets of Times Square, and that is one of the film’s greatest assets. Arrow Video gives this unlikely candidate a welcome fresh release.

Jimmy Failla

Jimmy Failla

Event Reviews

Despite the Mother’s Day factor, hundreds of fervent, faithful followers still flocked to Orlando’s famed Plaza Live to catch an earlybird set from Jimmy Failla — one of the hottest names on today’s national comedy scene.

Lonnie Walker

Lonnie Walker

Features

Ink 19 readers get an early listen and look at “Cool Sparkling Water,” a new single from Lonnie Walker.

Los Lobos

Los Lobos

Event Reviews

Jeremy Glazier has a bucket list day at a Los Lobos 50th Anniversary show in Davenport, Iowa.

Always… Patsy Cline

Always… Patsy Cline

Archikulture Digest

Carl F. Gauze reviews the not-quite one-woman show, Always… Patsy Cline, based on the true story of Cline’s friendship with Louise Seger, who met the star in l961 and corresponded with Cline until her death.

Lorraine of the Lions

Lorraine of the Lions

Screen Reviews

A lady Tarzan and her gorilla have a rough time adapting to high society in Lorraine of the Lions (1925), one of four silent films on Accidentally Preserved: Volume 5, unleashed by Ben Model and Undercrank Productions, with musical scores by Jon C. Mirsalis.