"Most of the time when I hear a new indie CD, it is not ready for prime time - not for a review, not even ready for a pre-mastering remix. Certainly not ready for the brutal battle that is radio. Ego, poverty, ignorance - for whatever reason, somebody involved in these projects forgot that the reason most people want to listen to a particular set of tunes over and over again is because they don't sound like crap.
I feel very differently about this album, since I've watched the entire project from the bleachers. Three years in the making, with a lot of upheavals and drama along the way, and the entire time I kinda had my fingers crossed that this would be worth all that effort. I should have known better.
From the very first notes of "Half Mile Holler", the opening track, Holyoke lives and breathes. Some of the finest Americana I've ever heard, from lyrics to instrumentals to overall sound presence. Holyoke grabs you by the ears and slaps some sense into you. Every song on this recording is my favorite in some way, either for a killer stomp beat, an earworm guitar riff, or a perfectly turned phrase.
Something is "just right" with every single track. All are well balanced, painstakingly crafted, and ready for prime spots on any serious playlist. Great tunes for driving, dancing, or just hollering along to. This band, and this songwriter, are hitting their stride now, it is great to see them playing to sold-out venues and garnering serious attention from some industry gatekeepers.
Mat D's growling vocals are complemented perfectly by the team of pickers he has assembled into the Profane Saints. Kurt Mullins' guitar licks whirl and scream like a desert dust devil through these tunes. In my opinion he is one of the best pickers in the business, and having a voice like Mat's matched against string work this strong takes every track to a different level. Jeff Deignan's percussion work is exactly where it needs to be every single time, and new bass man Shawn Bloomberg has stepped up with a steady, solid style that anchors the project very well.
This is one shit-hot band, no lie, and the stellar quality of the original material allows everybody's best to shine through. It is hard to sum up so many great stories, strong images, tight arrangements and moments of soaring artistry in a few words, but it is certainly worth a try. Holyoke is what Americana music should be. This is the way hard work sounds when you just let go and let it howl." Jim Pipkin - Empty Bottles and Broken Souls
Our new album HOLYOKE was released on March 4, 2014. You may purchase it on CD from us warehouse direct here
"Holyoke is, apparently, the seventh release from Mat D and the Profane Saints, and if those other records are anywhere near as good as this one, it’s a crying shame that the world at large isn’t familiar with these guys yet. It’s time for that to change. Country, Americana, Southern rock, call it what you want to call it. I’ll just call it badass." Fred Phillips somethingelsereviews.com
"(MAT D) has the lyrical talent to convey the darkness that lies in a man’s fiber. Real shit that people wrestle with. Mat D touches on these subjects artfully and with the finesse of an old campfire troubadour. Seriously. I’m saying this now, you are CHEATING your music library and kind of failing as a fan of our genre if you don’t have any of his music. - Chris Richburg Fuck Yeah Alt Country Boys
"Mat D's voice isn't going to find him trying out for American Idol anytime soon. It's not that he's pitchy (dawg), but he sings like he recently chased a Brillo pad with a double-shot of something off the bottom shelf at a rural route dive." - Farce the Music.com
"(HOLYOKE)...is unapologetic in it’s delivery, Mat D’s vocal jumps out of the speakers taking no prisoners and the instruments play loud in an attempt to reign him in – turn it up loud and let yourself be transported to a raucous roadhouse of dubious repute somewhere of a dusty blacktop (I’ll be in the corner, trying to look inconspicuous)" - Simon, Beat Surrender UK
"Nashville could well take a note from this band. I’d put this up against anything that the Music City is pumping out right now. HOLYOKE will be another jewel in my record collection and I’d highly recommend that you make it a part of yours as well...Ten out Ten stars" - CJ Plain Final Cut Radio/Music God Reviews
"I saw lead singer Mat deRiso’s voice described as having “recently chased a Brillo pad with a double-shot of something off the bottom shelf at a rural route dive.” While that may be accurate, it’s really evidence his focus for these songs is the words and delivery – rather than his voice – in order to share with us the “beauty” that exists within the difficult days we all experience. Mat D is kind of a bad boy… but not in the popped collar, wallet chain that touches the floor, or even wearing his knickerbockers below the knee – type way. Instead, he sings about the lives of murderers, thieves, and the hard living regular folks – which, according to Mat D., are not really that different. If you are looking for genericana – this is not it. Mat D and the Profane Saints tell it like it is and don’t hold anything back. If you are looking for some authenticity to add to your playlist – you should take a look at this track, this new album, or even this band generally". - Duane Doobie Music Editor / Radio Info.com
"The Profane Saints release their best album yet - The resulting sound is a strong cocktail that’s two part roots rock, another part honky-tonk country with a dash of explicit lyrics -- explicit for content rather than profanity. Shake and drink it up." - Kay Kemmet Sioux City Journal / Weekender
"Holyoke" is a down-to-earth album. Mat deRiso, the lead singer of the group, described the band's music as "a mixture of rock, blues and country," and this album doesn't disappoint. If anything, it exemplifies what a mixture of these three genres sounds like at its best, and it does so without unnecessary frills or additions. There's no need for them. It's pure, in its sound and lyrics, just the way it is - Kate Padilla the Spencer Reporter