Albums like Aw Come Aw Wry don't come around all that often. Every indie wannabe under the sun tries their damnedest to make a statement as consuming and intriguing. And if they're lucky enough, they'll do it in a handful of songs amidst the filler. Matthew Houck isn't one of these one-trick ponies.
Houck, borrowing the moniker of Phosphorescent, has struck gold for the third time on Aw Come Aw Wry. The album is everything fans of folk embrace about indie rock, and everything indie rock fans embrace about folk. You name it, it's featured on the album. You want songs that haunt and move you? "South (of America)" should remedy your ailment with its plodding drumbeats and sparse piano. Do you ever wonder what Jeff Magnum would create if he were Jay Farrar? The slide guitar and big horns of "Joe Tex, These Taming Blues" will answer your imaginative query in just five glorious minutes. Maybe you prefer the sound of rain? All 18 minutes of "Nowhere Road., Georgia, Feb. 21, 2005" will satisfy your thirst of the solitude only a storm can bring. Don't even get me started on the solitude of "Dead Heart" or the depth of "Lost Name." All these tracks are more than just music and words -- they defy any explanation. I could sit here and type out list after list of comparisons, but it still wouldn't come close to defining what Matthew Houck has created. The album is as close to perfection as one can come; yet it's the imperfections that shine.
Aw Come Aw Wry is quite simply the one album this year that contains everything, but is nothing. The album is destined to fly under the radar and be nothing more than a cult album to a select few. In ten years when Matthew Houck has either left the business behind or has moved onto greener pastures, this album will stand as a testament that great music needs no press or reviews, just word of mouth. Listen to this album, pass it along to friends, and spread the word.
1. Not a Heel
2. Aw Come Aw Wry #5
3. Joe Tex, These Taming Blues
4. Aw Come Aw Wry #6
5. I Am a Full Grown Man (I Will Lay in the Grass All Day)
6. Dead Heart
7. Aw Come Aw Wry #3
8. South (of America)
9. Lost Name
10. Endless Pt. 1
11. Endless Pt. 2
12. Nowhere Rd., Georgia, Feb. 21, 2005