Matthew Everybody Down

Everything is straightforward with Chicago's Matthew - from their simple name to their simple guitar rock to probably everything else about them. And that's fine, because there is usually too much pretence connected to the music industry, so maybe their debut album, Everybody Down, will come as a breath of fresh air. Maybe. Everybody Down is not the worst record you'll hear all summer, but it isn't the best either - there's a real blandness that comes from its derivative sound that will have you making a long list of bands that you hear in every song. And that lack of its own personality makes it hard to listen to the whole album without wishing you were listening to something more nutritious. Yet there's still a very good chance that Matthew will end up being the flavour of the month for a while, at least because all the elements are here that an awful lot of people will end up liking enough to pick up the album and listen to it for a few weeks. Look for it in the second hand stores by the end of the year though. (Rykodisc)