REVIEW: Matt Pryor – “May Day”

[Jan. 13, 2012 – Self-Released // Find it at: Insound | iTunes]


The fiery “Regent’s Court,” a track off of last year’s The Get Up Kids reunion album, features enough urgent emotion and sincerity from singer Matt Pryor to make you wish the song was a lot longer than two minutes. It was his efforts on that album that contributed to the excitement in these quarters over the news of his plan to release a new full length solo album — his first since 2008. On May Day, listeners will find a Pryor who, nearly 20 years since the formation of The Get Up Kids, is still asking tough questions of himself (“Where Do We Go From Here”), and who isn’t afraid to go sufficiently deep inside to find the answers (“The Lies Are Keeping Me Here”). A major difference on this solo effort from There Are Rules is that of tone. Crunching bass, echoing distorted six-string and haunting keyboard have been supplanted on May Day by a wailing harmonica, dueling Pryor vocal harmonies and… is that a banjo? Subdued, sweetly sad and usually using just an acoustic guitar, Pryor develops two voices – singing sometimes in the first and sometimes in the second person; alternately confessing and giving advice. Even if he is just singing to himself in those “advice” songs (or along with himself, as on “As If I Could Fall In Love With You Again”) there is still plenty for listeners to take from his simple, tender verses.

Download: “The Lies are Keeping Me Here,” “Polish the Broken Glass”

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