Wrist Slitter is the new record from Get Up Kids frontman Matt Pryor. This is his third solo album. I loved his previous release, May Day, you can check out my review for it here. He has returned with another catchy acoustic indie rock solo album. I love the gruffness in his voice. Pryor also has great lyricism that is both introspective and relatable. All of that is on display on Wrist Slitter and it makes for a great album.
The sounds of a big band tune on the radio, starts off the record. “The House Hears Everything” is the short, bouncy, energetic track that gets the album going. Pryor sings, “The house hears everything, I dare not speak a word,” and goes on to say “We can’t keep these secrets anymore.” The next song is a dark window into Pryor’s soul, and “Kinda Go to Pieces” is heartbreaking. This song talks about how sometimes life gets to him like it does to all of us, “Kinda go to pieces, nobody believes me.” We do though. It is understandable to be having a hard time with life, we all do. It is awesome how introspective and open Pryor is by sharing feelings like these, “Oh, oh, oh keep my voice low. I, I, I am dying inside.” For a song with that kind of theme, it is remarkably poppy and upbeat.
The title track, “Wrist Slitter” is really folky and also really dark. It references anxiety, fear and possibly suicide but at least he decides, “I don’t want to make red pools in the tub.” This is a slightly veiled reference to the album’s title. “Words Get in the Way” talks about how sometimes words can do just that. They don’t always convey what people really mean and can lead to confusion, “Don’t know what to say cause the words get in the way they do.” I also like the way Pryor sings, ‘you’, ‘abuse’ and ‘go’. The song features some guest vocals from Punchline’s Steve Soboslai.
The next song starts with a few lines from friend Bob Nanna of Braid. Then, “Before My Tongue Becomes a Sword” turns into a back and forth between Pryor and his other friend, Saves the Day’s Chris Conley. The song features some good harmonies, especially in the choruses. The ‘a-Woahs’ in the song are really catchy. The song is about the futility of a frustrating argument where neither party is right, “Why do we go on and on like this, does it matter in the end?”
The next song is called “If I Wear a Disguise” and I love the piano on the track. It talks about the ‘masks’ we wear that disguise who we truly are.
This album’s gem is “As Perfect as We’ll Ever Be”. I like that it is pretty bare bones, save for a little light background instrumentation, but it is mainly just Matt Pryor and his guitar, this gives it more of a personal feel. He says, “I want to make sure that you know, I loved you when I met you. I knew I would never let go.” How beautiful is that? I also love the swell of the strings in the bridge and at the end of the song, it sounds truly lovely.
“Foolish Kids” is a really simple, catchy acoustic rock jam and I dig it. “I could be 99 percent of the man you need but that last small piece keeps failing me,” is an insightful and clever line. I also like, “Life is not cartography,” and the final line, “We were just foolish kids, now we got foolish kids with all our faults, still loving this” It is a nice little ditty about his relationship with his wife.
“Say What You’re Gonna Say” is another short little tune. I love the way it that line sounds in the chorus. This song could sound angry but it doesn’t, instead it is catchy and sounds upbeat despite lines like, “An insult and a compliment are the same to me.” “So Many Questions” is up next. This song leans on the country sounding side. This album has so many different styles it is one of Pryor’s talents. There are a few different styles of song on this album but it all sounds like one cohesive album.
The penultimate track, “There Is No Us” is biting lyrically. “You won’t hurt me anymore, I won’t give you the chance.” I also love the line, “I’ve got a long list of my grievances.” The album closes with “Won’t Speak to Me.” This song is one more burst of energy at the end of the album. The album ends the same way it begins with that big band on the radio sample.
Matt Pryor sounds even more polished and confident on this new release. This is matched up with more of his penchant for writing personal, catchy acoustic and indie songs. This is another great addition to his discography.