MUSIC REVIEW: LGBTQIA (A New Generation) by Matt Fishel

We’re Queer, we’re here, and rocking out this year.

Welcome to the Queer rock track celebrating the Generation of freedom.

Rock is heavy, harsh, hard-hitting and inherently political; It’s a tough act to follow. So many have paved the way for the genre of rebellion, with their tangled guitars, stringy melodies, booming baselines, and whirling vocals. But few have ever hit home with Queer issues. Enter Matt Fishel.

Imagine if punk and early 2000’s rock had a baby that grew up to protest Trump at every rally, and you’d have the latest track from self dubbed Queer rocker Matt Fishel.

Decorated in its title LGBTQIA (A new generation), the punky track is the ode to past and present LGBT+ alumni “In every creed, race, religion and society” all in a lively thrash of head bobbing rhythms.

Matt Fishel

Matt Fishel

Sharp is the blade of guitar

Cutting through

A heap of electricity to

Engulf your ears,

With passionate protest

And powerful words

Matt himself

Calls in listeners

To scream

in a chorus

Of pride,

To their heart’s content

As the main part of the song

Comes crashing into

The foreground

Angsty, rebellious, powerful. A nod to the original rebels with its rocky sound, the fast paced charge of pop punk rhythms drives the listener’s passion until you can’t help but sing along.

Each power chord roars like a fire, emblazoned with gritty electrical fuzz to burn your ears in the best way. Arguably the best section of this collage of crashing rhythm, the chorus is a straightforward clean-cut onslaught urging you to “Raise your glass to the ones that paved the way”. It unashamedly demands your attention – it’s yelling at you and you can’t ignore so you yell along to.

High pitched vocals string themselves around an angsty shrill guitar, prepared to thrill with its sharp cutthroat melody. I’m instantly reminded of early All time low and they’re playfully light musicality that just enhances the juxtaposed powerfully deep lyricism.

With streaming light to the shrouded electrical hum of a chorus, the intro immediately sets the celebratory tone of the track. Gleefully shouting:

L

G

B

T

Q

I

The letters of our community

spelled out

By a glorious burst from

Backing vocals,

In the stripped down

Chordal backdrop

Of the intro.

Matt wills the listener on

With a playful riff

From the suddenly melodic

Second guitar

Which powers you through

Into the verse.

My only criticism is the vocals in this section. Compared to the smooth higher pitched calling in the chorus, the verse’s whispery EQ riddled vocal falls flat. If only there was a guitar amp filter, or drench of distortion married to his voice, perhaps then the spiky guitars would be matched. Otherwise, the production talents of Matt are well on display. Deservedly so, the track is smothered in pristine clarity (which is tough to pull off in this genre). Each little guitar melody or drum beat has its own spotlight – there’s no muddy mesh of music here.

And just as I’d wrapped my head around the catchy head-nodding chorus and intro, a middle eight decides to crop up out of the blue. It’s empowering. There’s the perfect marrying of politically charged lyricism and head-bobbing melody.

The chordal sequence of choppy muted power chords and fuzzy distortion is predictable for the genre. And yet in this instance I still think it sounds fresh.

Could there have been more dynamic chords choices? Sure. But this style of music doesn’t need that much embellishment. It’s about the lyrics here. That’s the main part. It doesn’t really need anything distracting from that. So yes, I’m disappointed by the lack of challenging musical components, but not all music can be writhing with technical prowess. If every song did that, it would sound horrific. What the track loses in musical structure, it makes up for in tone, message and its delivery.

Who would have thought such a political track could be so entertaining?

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