Review: Wrist Slitter | Matt Pryor

Matt Pryor’s sabbatical (of sorts) from music in 2012 was an interesting and introspective move on his behalf. After nearly two decades of writing and touring, an exhausted Pryor decided to hang it up and focus on his family.

But that didn’t last long. (I don’t mean the family part. I’m sure the dude is still a hell of a dad.)

After a few months of working on a friend’s farm, Pryor re-recognized his calling and went back to the drawing board and returned with some material that would eventually become part of his latest full-length, Wrist Slitter. Don’t let its briefness fool you – while it clocks in under thirty minutes, with only two songs breaking the three-minute mark (one of which barely doing so), Pryor showcases an immense amount of dark, honest spirit.

The introductory “The House Hears Everything” starts off with 1920’s-silent-film-soundtrack-esque static before sharply dropping into the racing second half of the song. The album’s first single, “Kinda Go to Pieces,” quickly dissolves the muffled noise at the start of the track, erasing the fuzziness with shredding electric guitars.

Enlisting the help of some friends, including Saves the Day’s Chris Conley and Braid’s Bob Nanna on “Before My Tongue Becomes a Sword” and Steve Soboslai of Punchline on “Words Get in the Way,” Pryor’s tracks gain some extra “oomph.”

The bluegrassy sprint that is the title track and the somber “As Perfect As We’ll Ever Be” offer a slower side to the record, lowering the tempo as Pryor gently croons through his “darker places,” while the playful “Foolish Kids” and the calm “There Is No Us” offer a more casual taste, swapping electric guitars and racing drums for relaxed strums.

When Matt Pryor took some time off, nobody was really sure what would come from it. And I think that includes Matt Pryor, too. For Wrist Slitter, he reveals that “this is who I am, and this is what I do. I just had to go off the deep end and try other stuff in order to figure it out.” If this album is him figuring things out, then he has much more success with living in the deep end than most of us would.

Release Date: November 11th, 2013
Rating: 3.75/5
Runtime: 28:46

1. The House Hears Everything
2. Kinda Go to Pieces
3. Wrist Slitter
4. Words Get in the Way (w/ Steve Soboslai)
5. Before My Tongue Becomes a Sword (w/ Bob Nanna and Chris
6. If I Wear a Disguise
7. As Perfect As We’ll Ever Be
8. Foolish Kids
9. Say What You’re Gonna Say
10. So Many Questions
11. There Is No Us
12. Won’t Speak to Me

Written By: Eric Riley

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