Secret Meeting score: 75
by Phil Scarisbrick
Last year’s eponymous debut was a superb introduction to Mattiel and their music. Front woman, Mattiel Brown, teamed up with production duo InCrowd (Randy Michael and Jonah Swilley), to create a collection of wonderfully crafted songs, full of vibrant energy. Now they return with a follow-up that builds on the success of that record, putting together another superb slice of garage-pop.
The new record, Satis Factory, puts the need of human beings to constantly be in search of self-gratification at its core. This tight concept elevates the record, which also showcases a progression in sound, with a more modern feel. Songs like Millionaire, Berlin Weekend and Keep The Change zone in on the central theme, carried by infectious melodies and bundles of energy. Je Ne Me Connais Pas combines a Doors-y tune with a tale of narcissism, with the album’s biggest nod back to their debut. Populonia has very Mancunian feel to its guitar work – somewhere around Seahorses-era John Squire – that combines with doubled up vocals, gasps and breaths for a seductive dalliance.
The difficult second album is usually a cliche that can be shaped to suit the mood of reviewers. If it’s bad then it proves the rule, and if it’s good then it dispels the myth. Satis Factory definitely falls into the latter camp, and eclipses its predecessor in both ambition and final product. Mattiel then are quietly building a deeply impressive back catalogue, and where they go next will be met with plenty of intrigue.