Hailing from the Missouri town of St Louis, Matthew Bayot is a strange blend of classic American folk mixed with the music of India. In fact, he is somewhat of an expert on the sitar, having studied classical Indian for some seven years. This is an album that is also reasonably easy on the ear, full of quirky touches but with little sense of adventure. Opening track “The Claims” shifts from one time signature to another, like a rattlesnake sweeping through the brush, jamming guitars barely matching the tempo of the lyric turning the song into a rather disorientating affair.
“She Is Everything” on the other hand is more straight forward, indicative of the rest of this release, leading into the fuzz and whine of “Still On”, full of pulsing bass and an emotive lyric. Its a song full of echo and atmosphere, the highlight of the album, along with “Blues in Three” where an Eastern theme and twanging guitars provide a lot of charm in its basic structure.
However, for a man who studied the sitar for so long, he keeps in firmly locked away in its box for most of the album, which is a shame as it would have stopped its sounding so run of the mill at times. Despite its short length the album does not have enough variation, and Bayot’s voice lacks expression causing some of the songs to fall rather flat. Its a reasonable effort, with a number of interesting songs, but lacking that something special to make it worth any further attention.
Matthew Bayot [myspace]