POZ Review: Matt & Toby - Matt & Toby

by Zack Zarrillo - Jan 18, 2013

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When one thinks of the band Emery there are a few different things that may come to mind. One might be the band’s strong up-bringing four to five years ago. Another might be the band’s killer live shoe. Maybe it’s the band’s involvement with Solid State Records, a subsidiary of Tooth And Nail dedicated to heavier acts.

With all those things being listed, bright hooks and poppy acoustic strumming are not really elements that coincide with the band. Even so, that is what we find on Emery guitarist and vocalist Matt Carter and Toby Morrell’s side project, simply known as Matt & Toby. The band has always shown a want to deliver some softer material and this self-titled debut is the result of that desire: a result that turns out to be more of a miss than a hit.

Right away the stylistic differences between the members’ related projects is made prevalent. “Life of the Party” is a mid-tempo alternative/pop track that will solicit many toe taps and head bobs from any interested listeners. Though this change in style comes off as a little refreshing, as Morrell’s full vocals really transfer over well, Carter and Morrell as a whole do not really bring much inventiveness to the table. 

Track number two, “You Will Swing” is a parody of itself, in a way, as a cheesy song that is really self-aware of its cheesiness. But that really isn’t enough to save what is otherwise a really tiring and cliché listen.

As the record progresses more and more of these tired, cheesy ballad-esque songs pop up, leaving listeners with a strong desire for the more fun, upbeat vibe of the first track. The only time the duo really revisits this solid choice in sound is on “Prodigal Sons And Daughters,” a danceable number backed by the delightful little hook of, “We like to dance/We like to sing.”

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Matt & Toby “Good Boys” Lyric Video

by Zack Zarrillo - Dec 20, 2012

Matt & Toby have released a new lyric video for “Good Boys.” Check it out below by clicking “Read More.”

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POZ BandsOnBands: Matt & Toby On Weezer

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 19, 2012

Mondays mean BandsOnBands, and we’re excited to be posting the PropertyOfZack feature today with Matt Carter of Matt & Toby (and also Emery). The band is releasing their great debut record tomorrow, so make sure to pre-order it here

In this week’s feature, Matt dives into one of his favorite bands, Weezer, and one of his favorite albums by the band, Pinkerton. Matt describes what Pinkerton did in terms of shaping his music career, which ultimately led to the music he has been able to make in Emery, among many other things. Listen to Pinkerton by Weezer here and check out what Mike had to say about one of his biggest influences below!

From Matt Carter of Matt & Toby:

I became a big fan of music when I first heard Nirvana, when I was in 7th grade and Nevermind came out. I loved the distortion aggressiveness and rawness. I was a heavy music fan. A year or 2 later I heard 3 “alternative” chicks walking down the hallway of my school singing the Sweater Song. I hadn’t heard the track but I thought it was hilarious that a song had lyrics like that. When I heard what the track sounded like I was floored that it was heavy song. I loved that it could be silly and heavy, more than that specific combination; I liked the apparent mismatching that seemed to work. I got into Weezer big at that point. The Blue Album was my first experience with the combinations of heavy, pretty, melodic, funny expressive music mixed together.

Needless to say when Weezer announced that they had a follow up record coming out, my friend Ronnie and I were pumped. When it first came out we listened to the whole thing 3 times in a row. My favorite song by far was “El Scorcho,” followed by “Why Bother.” It’s easy to see looking back that they are the 2 poppiest songs on the record. They became my least favorite songs over time. That is the mark of a truly great record, that it has gateway songs to hook you and then take you places and stretch your tastes so that you end up loving songs that you never would have given a chance to. 

Pinkerton is basically an Emo record as far as I am concerned. It was not what anyone was expecting. The production is insane, there is so much room soundieness and feedback and weird throw in vocals all over the place. Weezer was breaking so many rules on these songs. I was used to just radio rock music at the time. I had just started playing guitar and I began to notice things like 2 noodley guitars and no real rhythm or lead guitars. (see No Other One) There a bunch of weird key center changes mixed up with feel changes. (The Good Life, Across the Sea, Pink Triangle solo) But the greatest ting about the record is that it is sad. They lyrics are really sad and somehow that can be used in conjunction with some weird and silly music. This is much more powerful than sad music strictly with sad lyrics, or heavy music with straight aggressive lyrics. I think one of the hardest things to do is have a sense of humor and STILL have powerful music that is not a joke. 

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Albums Out This Week

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 18, 2012

November 20th is just two days away, and there are a few great releases coming out this week. Click “Read More” below to check out the album details and download information for all the great records coming out this week!

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Matt & Toby (Emery) Release New Song

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 8, 2012

Matt & Toby have released a new music video for “Prodigal Sons And Daughters.” Listen to it here and watch a new music video for “Life Of The Party” below by clicking “Read More.”

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Matt & Toby (Emery) “Life Of The Party” Music Video

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 7, 2012

Matt & Toby have released a new music video for “Life Of The Party.” Watch it below by clicking “Read More.”

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Matt & Toby (Emery) Release New Lyric Video

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 7, 2012

Matt & Toby have released a new lyric video for “Life Of The Party.” Watch it below by clicking “Read More.”

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Matt & Toby (Emery) Release New Song

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 1, 2012

Matt & Toby have released a new song called “Life Of The Party.” Stream it here and check out the artwork and track listing for the album below by clicking “Read More.”

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Matt & Toby (Emery) Artwork, Track Listing

by Zack Zarrillo - Oct 30, 2012

Matt & Toby will be releasing their self-titled record on November 20th. Check out the artwork and track listing for the album below by clicking “Read More.”

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Matt & Toby (Emery) Release Lyric Video

by Zack Zarrillo - Oct 17, 2012

Matt & Toby (Emery) have released a new lyric video for “What Plays In My Head.” Watch it below by clicking “Read More.”

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Matt & Toby Sign To Tooth & Nail; Announce Debut Album

by Zack Zarrillo - Sep 23, 2012

Matt & Toby have officially signed to Tooth & Nail Records and will be releasing their self-titled record on November 20th. Listen to a new song called ”What Plays In My Head” below by clicking “Read More.”

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Matt & Toby (Emery) Announce House Show Tour

by Zack Zarrillo - Aug 29, 2012

Matt & Toby (Emery) have announced a house show tour. Check out the general routing below by clicking “Read More.”

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Matt And Toby Post Studio Update

by Zack Zarrillo - Aug 15, 2012

Matt and Toby have been in the studio working on their new album and have posted a new update from the recording process. Check it out below by clicking “Read More.”

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