It’s always a nerve wrecking moment when you’re a singer, very accustom to playing with a band, releasing songs collectively, then one day you find yourself out in the open. Away from the safety of the band. With nothing but your songs, your ego and six strings to help you. It’s a position Matt O’Reilly has found himself in with the realise of his first solo EP – The Storm.
The EP boasts a short three track list, with the songs including ‘3AM – 11’, ‘The Storm’ and ‘Hand in Hand’. All three are stripped back, no drums, no crazy solos, no stand out bass lines, just Matt with his acoustic six strings and some guitar flicks with minimal tricks.
So how is it? How has the ex-lead front man done now that he’s ventured out on his own?
Bloody brilliant, that’s how he’s done.
The EP, although short in length, holds three cracking songs, all with a real small town feel to the lyrics, reminding me very much of the ‘laddish’ lyrics id hear from early Stereophonics or Arctic Monkeys. Singing about taxi companies not answering his calls, talking to a girl for the first time and watching her destroy your hopes with a “sawn off shotgun”, lyrically the tracks suck you into a story, and their sincerity allow you to place yourself right in the middle.
If I had to choose one song as a stand out, it would be ‘The Storm’, with a real Oasis feeling to the song, sounding fit for Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds to play. The song gets your head nodding, with a strong performance vocally, backed with some perfectly fitting backing vocals and strong rhythmic guitar riffs that get stuck in your head. It’s one that could easily be adapted to a rock n roll band, but is right at home in being stripped back for the solo artist.
It’s a triumphant debut EP for the hard working Matt O’Reilly, a name I’m very used to seeing on posters advertised on Facebook for gigs coming up. He has never shied away from putting the hours in from what I’ve seen, or tried cutting corners, playing the small bars and doing the groundwork leading to this, and its paid off in a big way for him.