M.D.G - 2002 MP3 EP

LABEL: mp3.com
YEAR: 2002

LINEUP: M.D.G - vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion & programming * A.D. Zimmer - bass * Mike Gallagher - rhythm & lead guitar * Ethan Porter - rhythm & lead guitar * James Allan - lead guitar on 'The Listener Man' * Mike Ciranni - acoustic guitar on 'I Think It's This City' * Robert Scribble - keyboards on 'A Little Chemistry'

TRACK LISTING: 01 What's Your Line? * 02 The Listener Man * 03 I Think It's This City * 04 Cool to Be Cool (Live) * 05 A River in Egypt * 06 A Little Chemistry (In Flight Mix) * 07 Talkabout M.D.G.


The Internet is changing our relationship to music as it develops, and mp3.com is only one of many interactive concepts to be involved in this trend. Recorded product now makes its way straight from the artist/band to mp3.com, where customers can purchase CDs or download the music online.

This gives bands and artists an outlet to release music which won't necessarily see the light on major or independent record labels elsewhere, and at best gives us, the listeners, access to material we otherwise wouldn't have gotten to hear.

Rochester based artist Matthew D. Guarnere (M.D.G) has chosen to use this format for an EP of songs from some of his earlier and by now very hard to get independently released CDs.

Having already offered the public an EP of his most popular songs by means of the 'M.D.G' release (What's Real Unlimited, 2001), this mp3.com release, entitled the 'mp3.ep', delves into more of Guarnere's vault material while the man himself continues to work on new songs.

The Songs

First up on the 'mp3.ep' is 'What's Your Line?', culled and remixed from 1997's 'The Crux' project. Backed by an intricate, but powerful guitar riff and some OTT vocal harmonies, Guarnere delivers a set of characteristically tongue-in-cheek lyrics in fine style, and the result is certainly one of my favourite songs by the man.

Track #2, 'The Listener Man', is based around an ultra-precise, vocoder-driven riff, and even though gorgeous harmony vocals make an appearance on the song's chorus, the overall impression is a rather manic one.

'I Think It's This City', on the other hand, should soothe the melodic rock fans who hid underneath their beds during the previous, somewhat spooky 2 minutes and 38 seconds. Nothing (thankfully) ever really seems to be generic in M.D.G.'s world of music, but this may be a little closer to your average melodic rock tune than the other two.

'Cool To Be Cool', a live souvenir from The MDG Trio's December 2001 Bopshop appearance, is wonderfully left-field, and sees both Guarnere and guitarist, Ethan Porter in spectacular form covering a groovy little tune from Porter's early 70's band, The Kids.

'A River in Egypt', a guitar-driven, slower song, does not really sort among my favourites from the M.D.G. vaults, but it contrasts 'Cool to Be Cool' nicely.

An 'In Flight Mix' of 'A Little Chemistry' from the 'M.D.G. EP' does not depart drastically from its original incarnation, which is to say it is still a brilliantly simple melodic rock tune, very cleverly dressed up in an impressive arrangement.

Concluding this EP is a 'Talkabout M.D.G' interview, which offers a thorough and enjoyable insight into all things Matthew D. Guarnere.

In Summary

All in all an intelligently crafted and impressive EP which should appeal to anyone with an ear for music beyond the average and generic.

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