From the category archives:

Matthew Thiessen And The Earthquakes

Matthew Thiessen

(Photo Credit: SwanWhite)

 

This is the "side band" of Relient K's talented lead singer and musician, Matt Thiessen (pronounced TEE-sen). We place "side band" in quotes because "Matthew Thiessen And The Earthquakes"— in Matt's typical humorous fashion— appears to be comprised of only him (and occasionally whatever guest musicians are available at the time of recording)!

As stated in one radio interview, the members of Relient K love music, and try to release at least one album or EP a year; and along with that, they tour most of the year as well. Because of this, Matt obviously doesn't have much extra time for doing solo work. (Only 5 songs have been released under the "Matthew Thiessen and the Earthquakes" moniker to date, with one placed on Relient K's Christmas releases, one a demo for a track on Relient K's fifth album, and another being a cover. Matt has stated, though, that if he does get some free time he may consider releasing a full solo album [and is now apparently working on doing so!].)

The songs Matt has released so far (except for one) are all exclusively on compilation albums. Content-wise, they are all piano-driven, introspective, and fairly personal. We review them below.

Relient K's 'Deck the Halls, Bruise Your Hand' Limited Edition Christmas EPRelient K's 'Let It Snow Baby... Let It Reindeer' Christmas CD

(Featured on Relient K’s Deck The Halls, Bruise Your Hand Limited Edition Christmas EP and
Let It Snow, Baby… Let It Reindeer expanded Christmas album).

 

“I Hate Christmas Parties” is the only track on the RK Christmas discs that is officially performed by Matt T. alone in his ‘side band’. It’s also the Christmas discs’ only real melancholy track (he’s basically singing about his broken heart!). Yet as always, it has great music.

Our rating for I Hate Christmas Parties: 4 & 1/4 Stars. 4 & 1/4 Stars

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Mono Vs. Stereo: The Revolution Will Begin in the Blink of an Eye, vol. 1

(Featured on Mono Vs. Stereo Records’ The Revolution Will Begin In The Blink Of An Eye, vol. 1 compilation.)

 

These lyrics speak of a relationship gone painfully wrong. It’s very emotional; yet there’s a little humor. And again, this has excellent music.

Our rating for Poison Ivy: 4 & 3/4 Stars. 4 & 3/4 Stars

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Mono Vs. Stereo: The Revolution Will Begin in the Blink of an Eye, vol. 2Mono Vs. Stereo: My Other Band, vol. 1

(Featured on Mono Vs. Stereo Records’ The Revolution Will Begin In The Blink Of An Eye, vol. 2 and
My Other Band, vol. 1 compilations.)

 

This track does include guest musicians, namely the band The Evan Anthem— and, in keeping with his personality, Matt gives two sly nods to them. One is during the song, where Matt sings the line “…yourself is someone you can’t be,” which was the actual title of The Evan Anthem’s newest single at the time (and which also debuted on the Revolution… vol. 2 compilation). The other is in the title of Matt’s song itself— in The Evan Anthem’s aforementioned single, they sing the line “…the calendar shows the energy”.

During the rest of the lyrics on “The Calendar, The Energy…”, Matt speaks of several things: his faults, and no longer pretending everything is alright; and then, to you the listener, the message is to not lose your innocence with age, and to not become too cynical.

It’s an excellent song, and we’re glad it was released.

Our rating for The Calendar, The Energy (If This Is You Then Woe Is Me):
5 & 1/2 Stars. 5 & 1/2 Stars

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Mono Vs. Stereo: My Other Band, vol. 1

(Featured on Mono Vs. Stereo Records’ My Other Band, vol. 1 compilation.)

 

This song— apparently featuring fellow Relient K bandmember Matt Hoopes— is a Beach Boys cover, believe it or not! Matt T. does this song very well… and in his own style.

Our rating for The Warmth Of The Sun: 4 & 1/4 Stars. 4 & 1/4 Stars

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Mono Vs. Stereo: My Other Band, vol. 1

(Featured on Mono Vs. Stereo Records’ My Other Band, vol. 1 compilation.)

 

First of all, although it’s supposedly a demo, this track actually seems to be fully completed. [Note: It was later revealed that the reason this version was a demo was that it was going to be recorded by Relient K for their next album.] And, entirely contrary to what you might expect from the title, it’s actually a pleasant love song!

The premise of the song is basically a whimsical, fictitious what-if scenario: If he ever faked his own death, his girlfriend would finally realize just how much she loves him (and that she would have married him, had he ‘lived’); and then he’d “come back to life” and surprise her, etc.

While the sentiments that they share are obviously real, Matt relates it in an unusual and quite lighthearted way. The closing verse is really the only one that is truly, completely serious; and it’s quite sweet, ending the song off with the statement that they have “a love that’s so alive”.

Our verdict? Another good song from Matt T.

Our rating for Faking My Own Suicide: 5 Stars. 5 Stars

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