Matthew Austin Hunt – Matthew Austin Hunt (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

If Bye London Bye , which helped pave the way for this release, showed Matthew Austin Hunt’s more subtle and reflective side, on this, his debut album, he gets to really let rip. American Made which acts as the opening sonic salvo is a proud statement of identity but one which rings with an honesty which often seems missing from many artists who write such sentiments, probably as the result of focus group research by a press agent. But more important it really flies.

Between the two extremes of these two calling card singles the album meshes country and rock music in various amounts, the former in the spotlight on songs such as The Day I Met You, the latter getting its moment in We Can Dream but most songs falling somewhere between the two styles. Drip By Drip existing in the perfect middle ground of the two.

If the underlying songs seem to echo with a traditional core and the echo of the likes of Willie Nelson and perhaps Jackson Browne can be found floating above many of them, their execution are much more in the alt-country vein of a young Steve Earle. Debut albums are all about announcing your arrival, I don’t think there will be many who didn’t notice him walk in to the party, metaphorically speaking.

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