Press

Quotes

“a dusty, reverb-laden excursion to those magical places where the desert, the highway, a stack of your uncle’s old Dead bootleg tapes and two nation’s borders mingle, the kind of old-weird America you see in Wim Wenders’ films, a rattling guitar feeding back in the distance, lending unskeptical credence to ridiculous genre names, San Franciscan acid droppers and true believers.”   -Phoenix New Times

“… re-invents western exotica.”
-LA Weekly

“Offbeat mysticism, psychedelic meanderings, and earthy country soul, guided by the steady hand of a gifted and charismatic songwriter.”
-Ben Van Houten, KQED

“… mix of psychedelic sounds and traditional folk and Americana music results in songs that twist, turn and delight, all with a reverence for classic folk-rock.”
-The Bay Bridged

“ A perfectly piecemealed ensemble recalling summer daydreams and beach front picnics, providing a hazy instrumental backdrop for its winsome lyricism. Pedal steel-laden opener “Hired Hand” invokes John Steinbeck’s laboring, California coast: “I am a liar, I am a cheater, though I ain’t no thief / I am a hired hand though I aim for brighter things,” and provides a perfect opening to the rest of the album, which is a sort of literate take on our idyllic yet sentient existence here in the land of milk and honey. “You never said you were unhappy / You never said you would rather be somewhere in Montana / Where the birds meet the trees / I just kind of felt you moving away from me,” from “The Moving”, supports a notion of that geographical conflict.”
-CRAWDADDY

“It’s a bit strange to say it, and Mark Matos (Trans Van Santos) might not want to be burdened with the comparison, but there’s something about Words of the Knife which suggests an alternate future for Beck sometime after 1998 or so… there’s something about the easygoing and open embrace of frazzled classic rock, downbeat country twang, flecks of tropicalia… vocally Matos occupies a space familiar to fans of Kurt Wagner and Mark Knopfler more than anything else… world-weary, contemplative, winsome, yearning, something that aims for storytelling and a full-bodied sigh, with occasional organ flourishes (as on “Warrior and the Thief”) that feels like Dylan-and-the-Band inspirationalism more than once…nicely done.”   -ALL MUSIC GUIDE

“…the sun-scorched country rock shamble of the organ and harmonica burn into your soul.”     -UNDER THE RADAR

“… simply infectious. Although every song is noteworthy, the ten-minute-long psych folk gem “Warrior and the Thief” is the sonic high point of the album.  New subtleties of instrumentation and rhythmic composition come to the forefront with every listen of Words of the Knife.”
-WOOD, WIRES, & WHISKEY -EXCLAIM MAGAZINE

“Lovely… a dusty sun-baked wilderness. Highly recommended.”                            -MAD MACKEREL

“Ambling, easygoing… with a little bit of the frayed, faded weariness of one who’s returned from some long, strange trips.”            - THE STRANGER

“An opus of relentless power and obscurity.” -FENSEPOST

“Southwest smoke meets Bay Area sunshine folk-rock… some Hawaiian inflections, Portuguese tropicalia, and solid Americana round out this cool offering.”         -WESU FM

“‘A crazy melange of americana flavours… with a touch of post-rock. Mellow and melodic, this is good stuff.”                -AMERICANA UK

“A fine purveyor of neo-Tropicalia…  Matos’ voice breaks in all the right places… unique and passionate.”
-THE RUMPUS

“Psych-pop with sunny brilliant melodies, sandy harmonies, and murky ‘70s funky rock chords.”          -SMOTHER MAGAZINE

“Fans of Sparklehorse who long for the magic pop touch that isn’t devoid of that pleasant, rambling ’70s psychedelia influence will be more than pleased. M Ward aficionados who might crave a slightly more desert-steeped element will be thrilled, too. It’s clear that Matos’ songwriting has continued to mature…”                 -ADRIAN LAKE, AZNIGHTBUZZ

“… sometimes conjures the thought of a dustier American Music Club crossed with Gram Parsons, or a more southwestern tuned Jason Collett.  Melancholy, sun-baked melodies, smart, complimentary pieces, and whisper backing harmonies are the key pillars for this record’s construction.   It’s an album that should find easy favor with fans of melancholy, southwestern-tinged indie Americana, and one that merits a listen from music fans in general.”      -Striker Bill

“There are no two instruments, when used properly in a rock and roll band, that captivate the ear more dramatically than the organ and the lap steel. Words of the Knife somehow has managed to coalesce both sounds into a sun-drenched tone all its own, wrapping itself loosely around shadowy notions, moments of epiphany, and confessions of self-deprecation…  a fine example of how eclectic and original one can be while trespassing on familiar musical landscapes…. Matos embraces every ounce of the lap steel’s Hawaiian origins to create a new chapter in the Americana workbook.

There are easy comparisons between Matos’ un-affected vocal style and lyricism to that of Conor Oberst, but while Bright Eyes’ front man has a proclivity for fervor, Matos’ tendencies lean towards ennui. He often throws off lines being careful not to give away any more than the content itself. It’s not to say Matos is morose, but rather, matter of fact….  Much like Howe Gelb’s work with Giant Sand, there is a coherence and unity in the backdrop that is right in time with the leader’s step. Words of the Knife is a unique and compelling record that feels familiar, but not tired.”  -PRESENT MAGAZINE

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