Filling in the Cracks - EP
2010's Reaching for Sparks was a major breakthrough for Matt Boroff, the American-bred, Austrian-based songwriter whose sense of existential heaviness found a new voice among twisted guitars and eerie atmospherics. The follow-up continues the streak. Mark Lanegan adds his voice to the dark elegy "Garbage Man," where the minor-key composition would verge on violence if Boroff weren't resigned to his fate as the man "burning the trash of my life." Boroff's end-times vibe takes a literal turn with "All Going Down with the Ship," where his voice rises to a scream at the futility of battling money and power to save the world. While his lyrics are impressive and strongly poetic, it's the music that stirs the soul: a Hammond organ here, plenty of acoustic and electric guitars there, all carefully tweaked for maximum effect. These aren't just songs but tone poems: cinematic pieces that take full advantage of the stereo spectrum. Elements of Lanegan and Tom Waits can be heard; however, Boroff has added his own European edge, which is stirring and beautifully doomed.