Matt Mullins The Bringdowns Beginning Of The End Album Review
Matt Mullins The Bringdowns Beginning Of The End Album Review

The West Virginian Alternative Rock band embraces their country routes and, in some cases, provides a fresh modern twist to the genre.

After spending some time in the shadows of the music world it feels like country music is slowly but surely making its way back into the airwaves of mainstream music palettes. The likes of Morgan Wallen, Chris Stapleton, and Luke Combs have been at the forefront of modernizing the genre and making it more than just the genre your parents listen to.

Even though they may not have the same degree of commercial success as the aforementioned artists, I feel Matt Mullins & The Bringdowns could be grouped into today’s scene of country revolutionaries looking to do more with the genre than just sing about drinking and trucks.

With that being said the band sure does nail the stereotypical country sound in a fun, groovy way, and the song “Hoot Owl Blues” is an example.

The song is upbeat, slick, and the embodiment of Southern fun. The guitar oozes personality and the instrumentation as a whole has a distinct Blues Brothers vibe that feels nostalgic and catchy.


Matt Mullins also gives a fantastically energetic vocal performance on the track and gives the impression that he’s performing the song in a dingy country bar out in the sticks (in a cool way).

Matt continues his vocal prowess on the follow-up track “Homesick” as he sings a brutally emotional song about longing for home and struggling to accept his changing life in a city environment.

The guitar steals the show a little bit around the 3:30 minute mark and almost feels like an emotional vocal performance itself.

“Appalachian Highway” has that slowed down, Chris Stapleton feel to it with echoey vocals from Matt that attempt to fill the track with a sombre, blues-inspired sound.

However, I feel like this song could’ve been better if it was stripped down to its bare bones. The vocal performance and lyrics feel very blues-like, but the instrumentation is more country and rock focused. I think this one would’ve suited more of a minimalistic acoustic take.

“Lucky Man” is easily the song with the most personality and is as slick and suave as a leather jacket. Matt Mullins absolutely kills it with a smooth, confident performance and an incredibly infectious hook that becomes an earworm on the first listen.

The band’s musicians are on point on this one and every instrument feels like they’re absolutely necessary.

The mixing is also quite notable in this one as everything sounds crisp and clear.

The band also takes an ambitious risk on the album with the song “45”, a political protest song that takes aim at Donald Trump and his role in the Capitol Riot of 2021.

Although the song isn’t one of my favourites, I think the ambitious songwriting and storytelling have to be praised as well as the band’s creativity in merging alternative rock with politics.

Score/Excellent: Monarch Sessions has a good run of tracks with 7 out 12 making my liked songs playlist. The album is well-produced and, in some cases, really well-mixed. Matt Mullins shows great songwriting and vocal ability and the musicians of the band can certainly play. Overall a solid alternative rock/country album.

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[We rank albums on a scale of: Poor, Mediocre, Good, Excellent, Outstanding].

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