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Title - 'Catspaw'
Artist - Matthew Sweet

For those not in the know, the 11th solo release from Matthew Sweet has just been released via Omnivore Recordings and ranks as one of his best yet.

Matthew Sweet played in bands in Athens, GA as that scene exploded, collaborating with R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, playing in Linda Stipe's Oh-OK, and The Buzz Of Delight.

That work scooped him up into the major label world making countless acclaimed solo records, forming the supergroup The Thorns with Shawn Mullins and Pete Droge, and beginning a series of covers albums with The Bangles' Susannah Hoffs.

Now, it's time for Matthew to just plain rock out by himself again. As aforementioned, Omnivore Recordings has brought out his brand new album, the excellent Catspaw - written, produced, recorded, mixed, and entirely preformed (save ferocious drumming from Ric Menck of Velvet Crush) by Matthew at his home studio.

Mastered by Bob Ludwig, the Hofner bass and Novo guitars sing and howl, harkening back to classics like Girlfriend and Altered Beast - all while retaining the hooks that dig into the listener.

Well, like a cat's paw, I guess!

1. 'Blown Away'
2. 'Give A Little'
3. 'Challenge The Gods'
4. 'Come Home'
5. 'Drifting'
6. 'Best Of Me'
7. 'Stars Explode'
8. 'Hold On Tight'
9. 'At a Loss'
10. 'No Surprise'
11. 'Coming Soon'
12. 'Parade Of Lights'

The album opens with the sonic rock of both 'Blown Away' and 'Give A Little' before leading us into the melodic, early '90s indie styling of 'Challenge The Gods,' and then we get the mellow grooves of both 'Come Home' and 'Drifting.'

Next up is the mid-tempo, fuzzy guitar rocker 'Best Of Me' which is backed by the R.E.M.-esque 'Stars Explode,' the yearning reach of 'Hold On Tight,' and then one of my own personal favorites on this exhilarating new album, the pop-rocktastic 'At a Loss.'

The album then rounds out on the mid-tempo 'No Surprise' and another great track in the form of a reflection of Sweet's early work on Altered Beast, 'Coming Soon,' before coming to a close on the rangy 'Parade Of Lights.'

Available on CD, Digital and Vinyl, Catspaw opens a new chapter in the storied history of Matthew Sweet - his first album in his fifth decade as a recording artist. It may seem cute on the outside, but be prepared to get smacked by Catspaw.

Amazon Purchase Link

Matthew Sweet @ Facebook

Matthew Sweet @ Twitter

Matthew Sweet @ Instagram

Matthew Sweet 'Catspaw' Trailer