Moving forward from a solo career, singer/songwriter Matt McCluer settled in with four other like-minded souls to propel his collection of one-man masterpieces to a quintet-produced symphony of eternally optimistic, cool-as-cucumber pop. Based in Costa Mesa and aptly named the Sweet Sweet Things, the band declare in their mantra that they “Hereby pronounce fun fun, and everything else basically a waste of time. [They would] also like to declare happiness happy, friendliness friendly, and to state that sucky things just plain suck, so [they] will not be taking part in, contributing to, or putting up with any such activities or people.”
It’s this kind of lighthearted sincerity and passion to do their thing—make music and live the life—that redeems my bitter aftertaste for bands who often claim such a philosophy, but then dive headfirst into the “put my song in a commercial—any commercial” kiddie pool. McCluer’s singing voice never shouts and hardly raises above a whisper, nearly cracking when straining for the high notes. Songs such as “Subtle Funny Feeling” and “I Want You In My Life” tap into a slight, refined melody that just grooves repose. “I’ll Be the One” streams a plucky hook and fun-loving backup vox that get almost as much spotlight time as McCluer’s lead. Before the Sweet Sweet Things start touring north to Oregon in January, due props need to be given for scoring a co-residency this month with Francisco the Man! at their hometown’s Detroit Bar, allowing them to spread their sunny constitution to the masses on a weekly basis.
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