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The Shouting Matches’ debut album, Grownass Man, is a throwback to an era when friends would get together just to play music. They weren’t playing to make money or have a career, but to just jam together for the fun of it. Occasionally, they’d play in front of their other friends or at parties. Other times they’d have hootenannies in a barn, filled with dancing, barbecue, beers, and good times, playing until the sun came up or the cops came by. Grownass Man is just that: a hootenanny brought to your stereo from three friends who have managed to channel that classicist approach into an organic sound that feels like a much older band.
It’s not as simple as three nameless friends getting together in a barn – The lead singer also happens to be Justin Vernon, the man behind Bon Iver. Vernon’s presence raises expectations to the point where it would crush another band. But, drummer Brian Moe and bassist Phil Cook manage to blend seamlessly with Vernon, creating music that is loose and fun. If you’re walking into Grownass Man with the expectation that you’re getting another Bon Iver record, then you’ll be sorely disappointed. But, if you put that cynicism aside, you’ll find an album that’s as enjoyable as any released this year. - Listen Before You Buy
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