Although several tracks never quite develop beyond lulling repetition, and Matthew Gray’s lyrics have the tendency to nudge whimsical absurdity into outré distractions (“Last time I saw Jesus / He was talking to Elvis Presley / he was mimicking all the zebras”), there's an all-hands-on-deck spirit here that makes Family an auspicious debut, even if these tempestuous avant-pop waters are difficult to navigate.
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Or, in other words: Pretty much exactly what MATAS seems to be going for on its debut full-length, Family Family Family Meets the Magic Christian. Anyway, Freedland (nice name!) gives the record a nice little 72 score on the mag's scale to 100. Check it out. --Pete Freedman