Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Matt Ellis - Halfway To Insanity/Never Was, Is And Never Shall Be

Matt Ellis (The Vapids, PlasticHeads) has been pumping out digital EPs at a rate of once a month since the start of the pandemic. He's been recording them in his bathroom and donating all sales to worthy causes. The latest two, Halfway To Insanity and Never Was, Is And Never Shall Be, have seemingly concluded this "COVID blues" series. Compiled together, all four EPs make for one really great album of Ramones-inspired punk rock. I appreciate that Ellis has managed to stick to the basics of three-chord budget punk, and yet somehow these EPs never grow tiresome or feel pointless. The takeaway here is that this sort of music doesn't need to be innovative or original if it's executed perfectly. The songs never go too far beyond a minute and a half, and the lyrics are highly relatable and just plain cool. While several bands/artists have crafted their own soundtracks to the shit year of 2020, Ellis has done it better than most. Could "PigHead" be any more of a song for this moment? I highly recommend downloading all four EPs and blasting them in succession whenever you come down with your own case of the COVID blues. And if you're not yet familiar with any of these EPs, you ought to get a real hoot out of the titles and cover art Ellis has come up with. All sales from Never Was... will be donated to The Aboriginal Heath Centre - whose mission is improving the health of indigenous individuals, families, and communities through holistic indigenous, traditional, and western health care. All sales from Halfway To Insanity will be donated to Willows Place in Hamilton, Ontario - which provides safe housing for multiply-marginalized women experiencing homelessness, precarious housing, and social isolation.


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