Review of There's A Lot In Here Album by Jonah Matranga

Jonah Matranga;
There's A Lot In Here
CD & DVD Review
Equal Vision

Jonah Matranga There's A Lot In Here Album

This ranging and slightly autobiographical offering could easily be entitled; "Emo did not start with Funeral For A Friend', as we are taken on a varied journey through the ex Far front man's troubled and thoughtful musical world. The CD portion commences with a cosy acoustic set from 'A Living Room In California', with the stripped down back- lashing emo pearl 'Living Small', containing Jonah's harrowing style that clearly influenced the likes of Brand New and Dashboard Confessional. This number serves as a reminder of the potency of Matranga and will surely be well received, after his ill-fated band Gratitude failed to commercialise enough from his contemplative base to keep Atlantic Records contented. The partner DVD shows a cosy and friendly surrounding and a select few people looking captivated, feeling the vibes of the stripped down love-out of 'Crush On Everyone' and the pleasing ode of 'Smile', among others.

The full band CD of 'Live - Chain Reaction Anaheim. CA', is expanded upon in the DVD, giving the feel of a close and compact set in what looks like an underground cavern. The set is going on while many Californians above the venue continue with their everyday drudgery; it is symptomatic of Matranga's career. The full band set reaches a crisp high point in the stammering A-L-L-Y-S-O-N that is dedicated to the venue's bar-tender, whose acquaintance Jonah was pleased to have made; all platonically, of course. The brazen flirtation with punk 'NOV00 (Mer-Kat)' draws the audience and the listener into the brash chorus and cathartic guitars that illuminates the diversity of this authentic rocker. 'The Volunteers: A Movie Of Sorts' sees a series of low budget, high in sincerity videos, accompany the likes of the longing 'Over It' and 'Living Small'. This collection raises the question; is there a more hardworking and veracious guy in rock music?

David Adair

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