by Joseph Barsness (@hiatusofjoseph)
Gatworld Vol. 1 is the fuzzy, cozy, and brief solo anthology of Two Inch Astronaut’s Matt Gatwood. If I hadn’t been informed of the project’s single authorship prior to listening, I would take Gatwood to be a tight-knit 5-piece - every track is multi-faceted yet glued together by Matt’s personable and explosive songwriting. Gatwood emulates a multi-membered band while defying any baggage that accompanies this role, and it works out to be a unique and wonderful perspective to attack an album from.
The album is quick to show Gatwood’s competency with multi-instrumental composition. Opener ‘Wealthy’ comes in expectedly fuzzy, with an opening riff that’s been stuck in my head for nearly 4 hours now. The following ‘Accountable’ exemplifies the album’s satisfying use of multiple vocal tracks - the harmonious hook comes out of nowhere, and dodges out-and-back-in seamlessly until the final burst begins to conclude the track. ‘Rain Intermission’ gives us a break from the action, and reminds of the deliberation that went into every part of this project. ‘Whalefall’ follows with a welcome cello line amongst the familiar distortion, creating a dreamier, lazier landscape than the first half of the project would suggest is to come. ‘Alright’ finishes similar to how ‘Wealthy’ comes in - rocky-y, riff-y, and confident.
‘Gatwood’ does solo rock really, really well. Each track grabs in a different direction while still maintaining the collective conscious that pumps through the album; at its very end, the concluding ‘pluck!’ of fingers rubbing on strings calls this to attention once more. It’s relatable in emotion, expert in performance, and feels like something greater than the sum of its parts.