Move over One Direction, Matt Webb has made his return to solo work with his sophomore EP Right Direction, proving once again that he deserves at least as much attention as Marianas Trench, the band he plays guitar for, if not more.
The title track opens the record with clean acoustic guitar. The catchy chorus makes Right Direction the obvious choice for album opener. Webb’s voice is strong but smooth as always, as he begs for an answer while lost in the pain of a break up. The song ends with guitar fading out, while the following track, 123 begins with powerfully rhythmic guitar. 123 displays perfect harmony between his voice and the guitar, as Webb ranges between high and low. The song is short and leaves you wanting more, ending with a final stroke of the guitar and a lingering “please don’t go”. Track three opens noticeably different than its predecessors. The ballad, Don’t Turn Your Back On Me, begins with piano. During verses, Webb’s voice falls strongly on the beat. During choruses, Webb shows us his powerful vocals, between holding notes and singing continuously, this is his time to shine. The song achieves a perfectly beautiful ending with its fade on the piano.
Heartbreakers is the best song on record. The intro features a catchy harmonic guitar riff playing over a tremendous beat. The song also boasts the best lyrics of the album. Webb’s voice is snappy and lands on every beat during the verses, while successfully raising in octaves during chorus. Webb’s best friend and creative partner Kevvy lends his vocals for the song and makes for shockingly good duet partner. A strumming guitar fades song out. Hang Tight opens with a mellow guitar riff and smooth drums. The music is so raw that you hear every breath. Webb’s soft tone of voice carries the song. Hang Tight leaves an impression comparable to Runaway from his previous EP, Coda and Jacket, which was one of my two favourites from that record. Conveniently, the next track, Lucky Numbers, has the same feel as Stage I Remember from Coda and Jacket, which was my other favourite (in other words, he knows which sounds work). The song begins with Webb being asked if he remembers his trombone, followed by a reluctant, “Yeah,” and some trombone noises (reminiscent of the silliness of Marianas Trench). Webb holds the long notes marvellously. The album ends with a bang, with the ending guitar riff giving off a Guns N’ Roses’ Sweet Child of Mine vibe. I can see him rocking out to this live now.
Webb’s album is a masterpiece. He matches his smooth voice with perfect guitar chords and riffs (leave it to a guy who is usually focusing on guitar to ensure his solo work has great guitar). The lyrics are heartbreaking yet romantic, simple but smart, and go well together with the music. Take your $6.99 and add this to your collection. You won’t regret it.