Matthew Smith

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Matthew Smith is the hard-working Detroit vocalist that fronts Outrageous Cherry and the Volebeats. Other projects that Matthew Smith has worked with include His Name Is Alive and Andre Williams' Silky.…
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Matthew Smith is the hard-working Detroit vocalist that fronts Outrageous Cherry and the Volebeats. Other projects that Matthew Smith has worked with include His Name Is Alive and Andre Williams' Silky. Smith is among the intelligent voices in modern pop. He straddles the line between alternative country and nostalgic '60s and '70s style pop.

Detroit's Outrageous Cherry saw their new album Out There in the Dark released nationwide on Del-Fi's DF2K imprint. This excellent, melodic album is a return to an exquisite form of pop not heard since the '60s. It bears the stamp of Matt Smith, a man that lists a spectrum of inspirations from original Pink Floyd songwriter Syd Barrett to vocal icon Dusty Springfield. Out There in the Dark continues a discography that includes previous titles released independently or on Bar/None, oscillating between song-oriented vintage pop and full-textured art-rock à la Sonic Youth.

When not recreating the paisley charm of '60s psychedelic pop, Outrageous Cherry frontman Matthew Smith produces records for others. One of his latest endeavors is the debut album by the Go (Sub Pop). Detroit's the Go veer from a two-guitar garage rock assault to heavy blues-rock ("Summer Sun Blues") on their Sub Pop debut Whatcha Doin'. The robustness of dual guitars along with the impact of fourth-fifths of the band sharing vocals adds an urgent spirit to much of the group's material. This is especially true of such tracks as the visceral call after the flesh "Keep on Trash." The Go is not simply about the bombastic, though they do that very well ("Meet Me at the Movies," etc.); they embrace the whole spectrum of rock & roll, as long as you step back a few decades. "Get You Off" sounds like CCR meets the Velvet Underground. Cuts like the very catchy "It Might Be Bad" have the ring of '60s pop rock, but the Go never strays from those distorted, riffing guitars. Comparing this to the psychedelic pop of Outrageous Cherry and the finely honed songwriting of the Volebeats, we begin to see the breadth of Smith's musical acumen.