Matty T Wall: Blue Skies (Only Blues Music)

Australia-bred newcomer’s debut showcases signature style.

Matty T Wall Blue Skies album artwork

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Wall’s early absorption in the ferocious metal of Sepultura and Metallica have made him a musician with serious attitude, his skill-set bolstered by vocal polish, decisive guitar tone and obvious flair as a bandleader. Instrumental Scorcher is a devastating introduction to his sound: a seamless blend of judicious sustain, fleet-fingered fretwork and all-out attack.

Wall’s own compositions on Blue Skies range from noirish drama (Broken Heart Tattoo) to blowsy ballad (This Is Real), his musical vitality and presence compensating for a slight lack of originality. Covers of songs by Jimi Hendrix, Keb’ Mo’ and Robert Johnson (on the final Hellhound On My Trail) contain bold and brave personal touches. When his own songs match up to his influences,
he’ll be hard to beat.

Gavin Martin

Late NME, Daily Mirror and Classic Rock writer Gavin Martin started writing about music in 1977 when he published his hand-written fanzine Alternative Ulster in Belfast. He moved to London in 1980 to become the NME’s Media Editor and features writer, where he interviewed the Sex Pistols, Joe Strummer, Pete Townshend, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Dury, Killing Joke, Neil Young, REM, Sting, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Willie Dixon, Madonna and a host of others. He was also published in The Times, Guardian, Independent, Loaded, GQ and Uncut, he had pieces on Michael Jackson, Van Morrison and Frank Sinatra featured in The Faber Book Of Pop and Rock ’N’ Roll Is Here To Stay, and was the Daily Mirror’s regular music critic from 2001. He died in 2022.