Pennsylvania native Matthew Ryan first popped onto my radar in 2008 with the release of his terrific “Matthew Ryan vs. the Silver State” and my admiration grew with the 2010 release of “Dear Lover (The Acoustic Version)” and 2011’s “I Recall Standing as Though Nothing Could Fall.”
For 13th studio album “Boxers,” Ryan enlisted help from pals Kevin Salem, Brian Fallon (The Gaslight Anthem), Brian Bequette and Joe Magistro. It’s one of the more rollicking efforts of Ryan’s career and finds the 43-year-old at the top of his game.
“It was a beautiful brotherhood,” Ryan says of the recording sessions. “In my mind, the record sounds like Crazy Horse meets early Replacements with nods to more recent bands I love like The National.”
Things get off to a high-octane start with the title track, and Ryan later scores with “God’s Not Here Tonight,” “The First Heartbreak,” “Then She Threw Me Like a Hand Grenade,” “This One’s for You Frankie” and “An Anthem for the Broken.” Good stuff. (Jeffrey Sisk)