Matt Pond PA are a consistent band. And when it comes to music, consistency can be both good and bad. It seems you know a new MP album will drop every year and this is the fifth from the band in the past five years. You know the quartet will have catchy melodies, lovesick lyrics and usually some beautiful album art. Now centrally located in Brooklyn after leaving the brotherly confines of Philadelphia, not much has changed on Several Arrows Later.
The first track “Halloween” shines, evoking a poor mans Death Cab for Cutie or even a poppier version of The Kinks. And the rest of the album continues along a somewhat consistent path with nothing too high or low throughout. But after several listens to Several Arrows, I am left a bit dry. The negative side of consistency rears its ugly head and can at times bring forth boredom. Dont get me wrong, the title track and a few others are keepers, but I think its safe to say that their recent covers of “Champagne Supernova” and “Aeroplane over the Sea” have been much more entertaining than this effort.
But none of these songs, save “Halloween,” make me want to take the next step with Several Arrows Later. The earlier Matt Pond PA efforts of a more chamber pop feel have fallen by the wayside in favor of more sugary sound, with less of the instrumentally diverse qualities that had us interested in Matt Pond PA from the start. Color me underwhelmed.