Aarktica: Matchless Years

[18 February 2008]

By Joe Tacopino

In Greenpoint, Brooklyn there’s a bar called Matchless which sits adjacent to the hipster haven, McKarren Park. Over the past few years this once dilapidated neighborhood has seen a significant migration of young artists and musicians—bringing up the property value and driving the polish immigrants mad. One of the youngster’s preferred watering holes happens to be Matchless and one of these transplant musicians happens to be Jon DeRosa, the experimental songwriter behind Aarktica. DeRosa has written his most recent opus about this fabled bar and the surrounding areas which he has recently called his home. By recruiting some of indie rock’s more accredited musicians (such as Gretta Cohn of Cursive on cello) Matchless Years has more of a traditional approach compared to Aarktica’s previous experiments in post-rock. DeRosa’s lazy baritone is slightly similar to The National’s Matt Berninger, or dare I say it, Morrissey. However, DeRosa’s morose tunes are not able to capture one’s attention as his barroom memories and jilted love lyrics add to the buzzkill of his sappy sad instrumentals. Perhaps DeRosa should focus more on the shoegaze pop of “Seventy Jane” which sits alone atop a heap of mediocre quasi-post rock tunes.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/aarktica-matchless-years/