M.D.G - 2002 Underachiever (EP)

Geir AamoGeir Aamo Norway
edited October 2020 in year-2002

ALBUM: Underachiever
LABEL: What's Real Unlimited
YEAR: 2002

LINEUP: M.D.G - drums, guitar, synth & vocals * A.D. Zimmer - bass * James Di Pinto - lead guitar * Paul Smoker - trumpet ('My Voice Now')

TRACK LISTING: 01 Underachiever (Slacker Suite) * 02 My Voice Now (Live)


Rochester rocker Matthew D. Guarnere released this, a two track promo single, late in 2002, and it's taken us until now (late 2003) to review it, I ashamedely admit that this is too good a secret, kept for way too long.

'Underachiever', you see, is a ten ton avalanche of quirky rock'n'roll that you simply need to hear. Whereas the song's primary drive very obviously is hard rock (and excellent hard rock at that), Mr. Guarnere also manages to put his characteristic stamp on everything.

For lack of a better word, I'm tempted to say that the rest of the bill somehow fits in the 'pomp rock' category: Not the misunderstood 'drench-in-keyboards-and-harmony-vocal-layers-ad-infinitum' variety, mind you - that's hardly pomp anyway - but by means of a strange, but compelling guitar riff, a very creative song structure, and some rather off-the-wall harmony vocals.

Topping it off is also, as usual, Mr. Guarnere's immensely powerful and classy vocals, with what I've come to expect in way of original, unique lyrics. I don't know about you, but humour and wit aren't standard fare with most melodic and hard rock bands that come within my earshot these days.

(See if you can spot how many of them actually use lines like 'now get this through your cranial sponge' to great effect? Yup, thought so)

The Songs

As if to really nail that point made, the second track on this promo single is the highly eccentric 'My Voice Now'.

Originally from Guarnere's 1993 What's Real project, this live rendition of the song is culled from The MDG Trio's December 2001 Bop Shop (Rochester) gig, featuring only M.D.G. and his trumpet maestro friend, Paul Smoker, on this particular number.

Sounds strange? Yes, it very much is, but Guarnere's powerhouse vocals practically come out of the speakers to rattle you while Mr. Smoker prowls your living room, such is the impact of the song.

Almost on the stranger side of Aviary's 'Eva's Birthday' (released on the 2003 'Ambition' CD), 'My Voice Now' simply needs to be experienced.

In Summary

Since this is a promo single not available in the shops, M.D.G. has made both tracks available for free download on his website - now go get experienced.

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