What do you get when you combine bay-area love-folk and southwest obscurity with a pinch of world music influence? Well, all corniness aside, you would have Mark Matos & Os Beaches and their album Words of the Knife. Mark Matos, formerly known as Tucson-based folk vagabond Campo Bravo, brings a stellar collection of ParrotHead friendly tracks that make him sound like a Portuguese Jimmy Buffett. Alongside Os Beaches, here is an album you will be humming to yourself for days to come.
For some, “Warrior & The Thief” is sure to be the highlight of Words of the Knife. It’s a 10-minute opus of relentless power and obscurity. For others, a simple folk melody like “Hired Hand” will turn up the foot tapping soul machine. There is a bit of everything here for everyone. For the latter, “I Come Broken” might be an even better example. This is the indie rock Jack Johnson track the “bro’s” can dig into without falling victim to harmful stereotypes.
Mark Matos once set off on a journey across the country in the spirit of Jack Kerouac or Neil Cassady. He’s journeyed through Alaska, Seattle, Baltimore, etc. And on Words of the Knife, it is clearly apparent that his experiences through this life have had a great influence on his art. His creativity explodes through finely tuned country-esque songs that can really make you feel sublime. Like Siddhartha searching the earth to find himself, Mark Matos appears to still be on his journey. He may not be there yet. But, he’s obviously on the right path.
Porto Franco Records [CD, 2009]
1. Hired Hand
2. Imaginary, Winnipeg
3. Palavras De Faca
4. High Priest Of The Mission
5. The Moving
6. Hold On Tight
7. Warrior And The Thief
9. I Come Broken