Ain’t It Funny, How Mike Matteson Releases A Sweet Single So Easily? by Jared Filer
Pottstown native Mike Matteson is no stranger to rock and roll, having been involved in various psychedelic fuzz-rock and garage stoner-blues groups such as The Lizard People and Seption since he was in high school.
Matteson has two solo albums and one EP that he released while attending Drexel University, and has recently finished an internship with Goner Records in Memphis. Both LPs, impressively, were released within two weeks of each other, titled “Teenage Man” and “Gong Bangin.'” “Teenage Man” is an effort that is an amalgam of sludgy doom, psychedelic garage rock, and punk-metal that often ventures off to an ethereal drone. While “Teenage Man” is intricate and specific in its nature, “Gong Bangin'” is another matter. “Gong Bangin'” is loud, bit-crushed, and unadulterated rock and roll, both in sound and in attitude. The record often takes a dive from lo-fi punk rock into hellish noise and inescapable feedback, making for a very visceral listening experience, though with some softer breaks in between.
Matteson’s most recent release, an EP titled “Chocolate Milk” (a reference to his love for all milks chocolate-related), came out this past February and secured his place as a Philly-area garage rocker. “Chocolate Milk” showcases a new version of Matteson that has matured and learned about how to achieve certain sonic textures that he found previously unobtainable, all of which have led to the creation of his newest single “Ain’t It Funny.”
On “Ain't It Funny,” Matteson breaks unfamiliar ground in a way that still has his rock and roll demeanor. One of the most noticeable changes is immediately apparent in the production, with the sound notably being more polished than previous releases, courtesy of Matteson and his friend Stephen Burdick. This doesn't take away the charm of Matteson’s songwriting, as it suits this laid-back anthem, and the music video helps to visualize Matteson’s blasè persona in the song. The cinematography fits the style of the song very well, involving comedic caricatures and Philly-referential surrealism with thoughtful shots and angles. The nonchalant nature of the song, with a reserved guitar lick and party noise in the background help immerse the listener into Matteson’s world with some semblance of familiarity, as does the simple but sufficient melody and the punchy, apathy-inducing anthemic lyrics.
Be sure to support Mike Matteson’s upcoming show at Century on 10/13 with guests Knightlife, Zach Krall Band, Blue Wonder & the Mystic Woman, and Brick Nova.