CD Review: Matt Hurray “Unnecessary Commentary”

Back in 2012, California-based guitarist Matt Hurray released his debut solo release entitled Egyptian Surfer. That album found Murray creating songs that featured a strong Surf Rock sound. But the album also contained many other influences that gave the release a very wide array of sounds. The ever-changing style of music made Egyptian Surfer a strong release.

Now, Matt Hurray has returned with a new release of original music. And while the focus of the music is once again on Surf Rock, Hurray’s new release is just as varied as his debut release. Hurray’s new album is entitled Unnecessary Commentary.

Right from the beginning, Unnecessary Commentary from Matt Hurray features his Surf Rock style of playing. The first track of “El Rollo” finds Hurray and his band creating a song that contains a strong vibe that will remind you of the music from the band The Ventures. “El Rollo” would fit in well with instrumental Surf Rock from the sixties.

With the track “Corduroy,” the band switches things up by changing directions slightly. While the track does contain some Surf Rock influence, there isn’t much of it in the track. What is included in the track is Rock and Roll that would be found in the seventies or early eighties. The track would fit in more with artists like The Cars or Devo. The music of “Corduroy” is a lot more straight-out Rock and Roll than it is Surf Rock.

On the song “Black Sand Tan,” Matt Hurray and his band change directions even more. Gone is the Surf Rock influence as they add a lot of Jazz-inspired influence to the song. The electric guitars from Hurray and Jim Rice, as well as the organ from Danny Timms help to make the track of “Black Sand Tan” sound like a Smooth Jazz track.

The energy level of the music is brought back up on the song “June Solstice”. But instead of containing the usual style of Surf Rock, the song takes on a much more island-flavored sound. The playing of steel guitarist Gary Brandin and the ukulele from Chris Cruttenden helps to create that island flavor in the music. Think “Jimmy Buffet-meets-The Ventures”.

One of the most unusual tracks on Unnecessary Commentary from Matt Hurray is the song “Sunset Girl”. With the inclusion of the steel guitar from Gary Brandin, the track contains a definite vibe from the duo of Santo and Johnny. But the music also seems to contain a certain amount of Roots Rock influence from the likes of Buddy Holly. The two influences are very dominant on the song, but neither of those influences seems to overwhelm the other. Together, the two styles combine on the track to create a song that feels as if it should have been created back in the fifties. However, it still is one of the best tracks on the new release from Matt Hurray.

Although there is plenty of Surf Rock influence contained within the new release from Matt Hurray, he also has included plenty of Jazz influence on his new album. The song “One day Away” finds Hurray trading his electric guitar for a classical one. The acoustic feel of the classical guitar in the Jazz on the track gives the song a different feel than the vast majority of the tracks on the release. The playing by Matt Hurray on the song also shows off his range as a musician.

With a title like “The North Swell,” you would assume that a song would simply ooze the sound and style of Surf Rock. But, ironically enough, that is really not the case with this track. While there is some Surf Rock influence in the music, the song feels more like a straight-out instrumental rock track from the sixties. The unmistakable sixties influence comes from the psychedelic flavor that comes through in the music. While not really Surf Rock, “The North Swell” is still a strong track that brings to mind the music of an earlier time.

Like several other tracks on his new album, Matt Hurray’s song of “Chillin’” contains a Jazz influence rather than a Surf Rock influence. So much so, that “Chillin’” would easily fit on any Smooth Jazz radio format. The music of the track somes to life with the help of Gary Brandin whose steel guitar shines through as the strongest instrument on the track. “Chillin’” ends up being one of the strongest and most infectious tracks on the album.

The new release from Matt Hurray entitled Unnecessary Commentary is an album that is overflowing with eighteen tracks. Each and every one of them is a track that is sure to catch your interest. While Hurray’s influences from the likes of The Ventures or Dick dale do come through in Matt Hurray’s playing, each song is definitely his own. And with the inclusion of other styles mixed in with the dominant Surf Rock influence, Unnecessary Commentary from Matt Hurray is a well-rounded release with something for nearly every taste.

Click HERE to check out “7th Street,” the first video to be released off of  Unnecessary Commentary from Matt Hurray.

Click on the album cover below to purchase a copy of Unnecessary Commentary from Matt Hurray.matthurray2