Music Review: Matt Mays - Coyote

Mays fans have waited somewhat patiently for the man to return, it being four years since the Terminal Romance album. He's been on some sort of spiritual-musical quest that has taken him from Dartmouth to New York to Mexico, searching for his groove or muse or something, slowly building a body of songs. In the meantime, the old El Torpedo gang has dissolved, but Mays has not let up on the shows all this time, either solo or band.

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So I guess there was no doubt Mays would come back from his journeys with something solid, when the time was right. It's right as rain, right now. Coyote is a driving guitar album with a ton of energy and a relentless drive. You can hear the quest in this disc, Mays pushing himself to write and record an album that's going to stand up to the road, to time, to the fans, and most of all, to his own high standards. There's no big message here, just the power of power chords, the magic moments of harmonies and hooks in the chorus. After, what, a million rock and roll albums now, Mays is determined to show there's still lots new you can do a couple of guitars, a bass and drums.

Every track is a winner, but if it comes down to it, here's three to savour. Chasing The Light, which closes the disc, is the only true mellow one, but what a number. Acoustic guitar sweetened by Dale Murray's pedal steel, sees Mays admit he's searching for something, restlessly trying to leave the night, knowing there's something brighter than it all out there. Queen Of Portland Street is a more uptempo acoustic one, with that Mays groove and close harmony, with some Neil Young harmonica. Take It On Faith has a dark edge, with interwoven guitars in the break, pounding piano, and a relentless push. This is the album I've been waiting for from Mays his whole solo career.

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About Bob Mersereau

Rockin' BobBob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).

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