Matt Mays When the Angels Make Contact

Give Maritimes rocker Matt Mays credit for keeping us guessing. Just as he’s about to be pigeonholed as a popular heartland rock’n’roll guy via his work with his band El Torpedo, he throws us a serious stylistic change-up in the form of When The Angels Make Contact. Call it a soundtrack for a film that may never appear, as financing for the Mays-created flick of the same name has reportedly fallen through. The project did give Matt a chance to flex his musical muscles though, with generally impressive results. Some tunes here owe more to Beck (as on "The Past” and "1 For the Motor”) or Nine Inch Nails than the Young/Petty influences on Mays’ earlier work, as he strives to come up with cinematic soundscapes. Matt told this scribe he was influenced by the soundtracks of such like-minded existentialist road movies as Easy Rider and Vanishing Point, and it shows. The disc is capably co-produced by Matt and his drummer Tim Jim Baker, and they’ve enlisted East coast comrades (including Charles Austin and Dale Murray) for cameos. The most memorable of these is Buck 65’s captivating contribution to the compelling title track. Elsewhere, you’ll find vocodered and female vocals, scratching, voiceovers, and other aural effects, but, despite its stylistic diversity, the album does stand up as a coherent collection. An excellent CD booklet includes shots from the now-mythical movie. (Sonic)