ALBUM REVIEW: Gaz Coombes - Matador

GAZ COOMBES ... Matador (Hot Fruit)

GAZ COOMBES ... Matador (Hot Fruit)

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FOLLOWING Supergrass’s disbandment and 2012’s lukewarm debut Here Come The Bombs, Matador is a record which belatedly establishes frontman Gaz Coombes as a solo artist of distinction.

Far darker than his earlier works, these songs come swathed in bleak and at time haunting atmospherics, though never at the expense of the 38-year-old’s penchant for melody.

Tracks like 20/20 and The English Ruse, for instance, are up there with the finest he’s ever penned; the former an immediate yet substantial teaser, the latter an urgent rush and perhaps the album’s most striking sonic moment.

The rest isn’t half bad either, with the sweeping bleakness of Seven Walls also impressing on an LP which ranks among his most engaging to date. 7/10. AW