By Clare McCabe
Released March 11th, 2014 - Roc Doc Recordings
Mr Matt Sorum comes out from behind the drumkit and sings some cool songs with a large amount of instruments backing him.
Matt has had a lovely long career and never really been out of favour. He was in The Cult at their peak. He was in Guns N' Roses during one of their peaks. He was in the wonderful Velvet Revolver who we still miss - only two albums and leaving us wishing for more.
And now here he is doing some stuff for himself and actually SINGING. That's right, Matt is the frontman here on Stratosphere. I am not kidding. Who knew he could sing I ask? Well he certainly can. And with great enthusiasm.
There are a huge amount of different influences (and styles) here. We go very acoustic. We have stringed orchestras and cellos. We have organs (I love most songs with organs to be honest). We have backing vocals from Ace Harper (Mrs Sorum). We have a few bluesy style songs. Apparently Mr Sorum is a great fan of Petty, Dylan, Bowie and even early Beatles. And it shows.
Straight up on my first listen, the catchy The Sea is my favourite. Was told recently that the album gets better and better the more often you listen to it - love albums like that. Matt gets his growl on with For the Wild Ones. Then we get glam Bowie-esque What Ziggy Says - "and everyone is a HERO, cause that's what Ziggy says". Indeed. Also love the melancholy Lady of the Stone complete with orchestral accompaniment. Don't expect any heavy rock tunes here because that's not what this album is about.
One of the good things about making and releasing is bands/singers have to be more creative about getting their music out there. Matt did some great webisodes while making this album that he shared happily onTwitter. Check them out if you can - he looks like he is having a great time. In fact follow him on Twitter, he has some great stuff worth looking at.
Great job Matt - an interesting mix of genres, instruments (I believe a Wurlitzer, a Mellotron and a cello are mentioned in the album credits) and singing styles.
There are plans to tour a live version of this I read recently - according to an interview on Billboard.com, Matt says Everybody on the album is interested in going out and playing live with me. I've got my guitar collection together, an old A-30 amp and some cool hats". Oh yeah we'll be there Mr Sorum. Name the time and venue. Oh and tell those boys from Velvet Revolver we're ready for a new album from them too.