Songbook #6 [LP; SDZ/Crudites]

First off, I have to let you know what’s going on with me before I jump into this review. I lost my job last November and kinda went crazy for a bit. Now, it’s months later, and I find myself back with my family (don’t ask), working from home (again, don’t ask) and again watching the sweet LPs pile up on behalf of Cerberus (… ok, ask away!). And the first platter I wanted to return with is this feisty lil’ sucker by Mattin, Songbook #6, which is a SICK title for an outfit as non-song-based as this quintet, sort of like the decidedly non-charting John Wesley Coleman III’s Greatest Hits. But one thing I want to dispel amid the many comparisons I intend to make (BeNe GeSSeRiT, Puff!, Aa) is the idea that Mattin are one of those insanity-peddling bands that can’t actually play their instruments. NO. The members of Mattin (Farahnaz Hatam, Pan Daijing, Colin Hacklander, Werner Dafeldecker, and Dean Roberts, the latter of White Winged Moth, exp. supergroup Autistic Daughters, and Thela) can JAM and though they don’t whip out all the tools at their disposal at once, you get little tastes of mastery if you stick around and let each track unfold as it needs to. It’s amazing what Mattin accomplish together, their introspective experiments taking on new shapes/dynamics with each observation. You can be listening to the last track on Side B and ingest an earworm so tough to shake you’ll be spitting out bits of it on your lunch break the next day. The most succulent cut might be the first track (forgive me, the track titles on this record are impossible), as it reminds me of the way the world blurs into a strange blast of speed when one inhales salvia (in my case for the first and last time) while listening to that last double 12” Boredoms put out. WOAH. The world blurs, your fingers grope for something, anything, to grab onto, and before you know it you’re in a place of mystery; you don’t know how you got there, and damned if you know how to get out. I remember feeling like I was trapped underneath my carpet, and that paranoid claustrophobia returns every time the ZOOM-ZUM-ZOOUUUMMmm of the first track flies by my aural window. From there it’s all gravy. You won’t understand the lyrics if you don’t speak German; then again, what’s there to not understand? It’s all in the subtext, inflated and deflated with particular skill by the drummer, who jumps in randy as all get-out when he’s needed, then coexists patiently until he’s needed to again play ROK-STAR. If you thought Notekillers were a little too pop-driven, you’re… alone, but I can guarantee you’ll find kindred spirits in Hatam, Daijing, Hacklander, Dafeldecker, and Roberts, the holy five-umvirate of sacred noise-rock laced with no wave and, well, I guess, punk.


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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