Matt Hill

On the Floor

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Matt Hill's debut is a powerful collection of blues-rock named in honor of his legendary stage antics. Hill plays guitar on his back, stage dives into the crowd, rips off his clothes, and jumps onto the tables closest to the stage. With Hill acting like the bastard child of Jerry Lee Lewis and Nappy Brown, his uncontained shows have made him a legend around his hometown of Greensboro, NC. This album will introduce the rest of the country to this blazing, over the top artist. He's obviously listened to a lot of early rock, R&B, and Chicago blues, and while the music of his heroes may still be evident in his music, he's got an outrageous style all his own. The album's 14 cuts include 11 Hill originals, given in-yer-face performances marked by Hill's guitar prowess, soulful gritty vocals that belie his youth, and a dark sense of humor that makes them crackle. "I Tried to Love a Crazy Woman" brings Muddy Waters to mind with its snarling vocal, ominous Delta-meets-Chicago groove, and a searing guitar solo of tortured bent notes. Hill shows off his slide work on "Children (That Ain't Mine)," another country-style tune that hints at madness and murder. Rockers include the album opener, "Time Is Up," which features Hill's stinging solos and a nasty harp solo from Tad Walters; "Griddle Bread Boogie," a swinging instrumental that gives Hill a chance to show of his lap steel guitar prowess; and "30 Years Old," an exuberant ode to self-destruction that insouciantly declaims "I won't see 30 years old/I can't slow down now/I got a reputation to uphold." He's just as good at delivering the covers he put on the album. AC/DC's "Hellz Bellz" gets remade as a Chuck Berry rocker while Johnny "Guitar" Watson's "I'm Gonna Hit That Highway" retains its traditional feel with Dave Gross supplying ripping piano arpeggios and Hill's brief solo carving out its own unique space. Still, in years to come, people will probably remember this album for introducing Hill and Bob Margolin's "Why the F*ck (Do You Think I Cuss)," which could well become Hill's signature tune. The song is perfect for his bad-boy persona, another Berry-esque bit of country-flavored '50s rock that's peppered with so much profanity it becomes comical. Hill's screaming vocals and a thick twang-heavy bass solo make it the album's standout track.

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