In late 1989, at the strapping young age of 16, I found myself introduced to a 13-year-old whippersnapper by the name of Matthew Terrebonne. He found amusement in the early work of Mark Prindle (the brilliance of such poetry as "Oh that Ayatollah Khomeini/What a guy he's really zany" was not lost on his agile freggshell mind) and had begun playing guitar. In fact, one of the very first things I said to him was "What kind of guitar do you play?," even though I honestly didn't care what kind of guitar he played, because I didn't and still don't know or care a thing about equipment. His answer was a Hondo, which I thought was a pretty funny name for a guitar. Regardless, I invited him to join my fledgling musical combination Iris Daylillies and he quickly became a force to be reckoned with. And I mean like seriously. Whilst I enjoy creating noises out of the instrument called the guitar, Matt is one of those guys who plays so incredibly well that he seems to make his emotions pour out through the amplifier. It's not just the notes and chords he chooses - it's the manner in which he plays them. He's always been able to pull this off; I'm not sure how. I suppose I'll just keep playing my little noisy melodies in the meantime.
In the MeanTime!!!
So life poured on, the Iris Daylillies became the Low-Maintenance Perennials, we recorded lots of fantastic CDs that you can buy from me for $4 apiece, then I destroyed the dream by leaving the state to go to college. Then I didn't hear from Matt for like a hundred years and now he's back with a Boston-based band called Generic and this brand new CD with a long, unruly name that I'm not even going to try and dissect.
Although it wasn't demonstrated very much on the official LuMP CDs, Matt's predilection for slow, moody material becomes quickly evident to people with the smarts to purchase The Penultimate Dystopia Of Obsession, the 9-cd box set of unreleased Low-Maintenance Perennials material available for the low, low price of only $35.00. Ever since embarking on a short-lived solo career, he has turned to more emotional and very, VERY slow, gentle material intended to lull the listener into a desperate state of whatever emotion Matt is presenting at the time, be it gentle, peaceful, melancholy, lonely or happy. And if you let his music in, most of it is powerful. Understated? Yes, but only if you let it waft over like so many No Doubt tomes. The attentive listener discovers tons of bizarre chord sequences and intriguing, smart guitarwork in both his solo work and this group CD. He just hides them behind traditional vocal melodies. Is what he does.
Thus, this Compreat Dsic. Strong guitar work obviously (the guy has always been a wondermous string player) and the band backs him up with wistful perfection, culling tears of ecstasy and emotional ravishment out of the same sorts of sounds that Pink Floyd made before Roger Waters went completely off the deep end. A lot of this stuff really does remind me of classic Floyd, though it doesn't seem like the band intended it that way. The keyboards are.umm. well, I don't know what they are. Hammond Organ perhaps? I can't tell. But it sounds jazzy and '70sish, I guarantee you that! The drums? Great. Very bright, crisp sound, although you can hardly tell they're there in the slower songs (which would be like 10 of the 13 tracks). Bass? I know the guy's awesome but that's only because I know the guy - I honestly don't hear any interesting bass work at all on here. It's pretty much a guitar, vocals and keyboard album.
Which brings us to the singing. See now THAT could be the reason that these guys aren't huge in the underground yet. Because they're wildly uneven. Which is a bit disconcerting considering how rich and practiced the music sounds. When they multitrack Matt's voice or use vocal harmonies, it's gorgeous. He sounds like a cross between David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) and Cris Kirkwood (Meat Puppets) - raspy, soaring and emotional without overdoing it or letting his voice crack with false sentiment. However, there are times on this CD when the vocals sound so out of tune and amateurishness that you just want to cringe and not tell Matt about it (the "Don't Run Away" part of "Tuxedo Garden," the "Yeah Wah Wah Wah Wah" part of "Untitled," the chorus part in "Dig Your Feet In Your Sky," every word in "Ophelia Scare"). But that's the only bad thing I would say about the CD. I guess others might complain that too many of the songs sound alike (slow!), but I don't agree with that. They're trying to create a certain mood (slow!) and they succeed. If anything, it's the faster songs that seem out of place. But they're good tunes so leave it.
I'd like to give the band a nice sentence to put in their press kit, so here's one: Modern Lovers, Aerosmith, Cars, Anal Cunt and now Generic: Boston strikes again!
Okay that sucked. Let me try again: Regardless of their self-deprecating name, Generic creates a beautiful, gentle mood that fools you into thinking it's simplistic when it's really as complicated as the song "Complicated" by the Rolling Stones, which honestly isn't terribly complicated at all, but the song is called "Complicated," so you see my point.
Nope. Hmm. Okay, how about: Generic is good and their album is good! I give it an 8 out of 10 and hope that they fix all the vocal problems on the next one!
Okay. One more try: Generic? More like NOT Generic, if you ask me!
Okay. Just one more: If I had to sum up this CD in one word, it would be "I like this CD!"
Matt, just make up whatever quote you want and I'll sign it.