Blues Rock Review

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Bennett Matteo Band: Shake The Roots Review

Recently signed to Gulf Coast Records, the experimental collective fronted by sensational guitarist Gino Matteo and gifted vocalist Jade Bennett transcend their improvisational deftness to new heights with the release of their debut CD, Shake the Roots. Described by the band as a “mixtape of our influences”, their latest project embraces their wide scope of potency, combining elements of Blues, Funk, Soul & R&B, ultimately producing an absorbing, diversified body of work.

While typically considered to be delegates of the roots scene, the band’s decision to approach this album with “zero restrictions” is certainly one that’s paid off. Kickstarting with the swaggering, funkadelic grooves on “Doesn’t Really Matter”,  Bennett Mateo Band immediately set immaculately high standards for the album – standards which are impressively maintained right across the entire tracklist. Equally infectious Daft Punk sounding grooves are present on the classy “You’re Nothing”, which combined with Jade’s piercing vocals and Gino’s thrilling crescendo provide a glossy touch on what was already a stellar performance.

Thematically, Shake the Roots explores the fluctuating emotions of a passionate relationship, with the band discernibly able to shift their tone in order to encapsulate an entire scope of emotions. These abilities provide stark contrasts from track-to-track, with vocalist Jade Bennett oozing her class, effortlessly adjusting her cadence to epitomize the atmosphere of each track. The back-to-back combination of “Oh Lord” and “Table for Two” is a great example of this, with the former unleashing pent-up anger through Jade’s ear-splitting screams as well as Gino’s resounding solo. Along with the gospel refrain of “Oh Lord”, Jade’s sassy lyrics resemble the buoyant cries of a woman set free from a toxic relationship. However, transitioning into the beginning of “Table for Two”, Jade’s euphoria is replaced with despondency, singing “I don’t wanna be the only one at a table for two”, a vulnerable lyric reinforced by the mellow percussion and minimalist piano melody.

These dichotomies are a prevalent feature throughout Shake the Roots and allow the band to showcase their incredible diversity. Whether via the post-punk grooves of “Warm Inside” or the heart-rending ballad “Paid & Broke”, Bennett Matteo Band consistently deliver – expanding on their bluesy-rhythms to deliver what is an exhilaratingly progressive record.

 The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Doesn’t Really Matter
– You’re Nothing
– Oh Lord
– Table for Two

The Big Hit

– Oh Lord

Buy the album: Amazon

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