Guarnere, Matthew D (MDG) - M.D.G.

Year of Release: 2001
Label: What's Real Unlimited
Catalog Number: WRCD 1132
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:46:00

M.D.G. is the project of multitalented Matthew D. Guarnere . M.D.G is as the website describes, a virtual one-man-band. Matthew wrote the music, plays, sings and produces this CD. He has been heavily involved in the music scene since the age of 16 and has over the years played on and produced albums by other local and international artists. This CD is released on his own independent label, What's Real Unlimited, which has functioned as a recording service and independent record company since 1991.

The music of M.D.G is an interesting fusion of symph, pomp and prog rock. Among his influences he ranks Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Saga, Rush, Queen, Kansas, King Crimson, Cheap Trick, Journey, etc., to name a few. You can draw references to most of these bands, although the Queen influence is by far the most evident one. The music and orchestration reminds me at times very much of Queen and Valentine. As well as being a multi-instrumentalist, Matthew has a strong voice and a wide range. And he uses the whole register very convincingly and compelling. The intriguing vocal harmonies are true ear candy.

The instrumentation by Matthew himself and a few additional musicians is top notch and certainly impress with the closely worked through orchestration. Although being quite accessible it does take a few spins to find and appreciate the melody-lines. There are so many elements and variation that each time you hear a song you discover something new. Although there are 7 tracks on this CD, one is an interesting interview with Matthew himself and one is a remix of all tracks offered. That leaves 5 original songs that can be labeled very good-to-great in quality. Even the remix is quite cool in its own way. Make no mistake; there are no fillers in sight.

The production is strong and balanced. Every instrument is present and with the vocals up-front in the mix. It is so much fun to hear an independent artist play with musical genres and succeed to this extent. And when even the production is this good, I am full of praise.

Matthew D. Guarnere stands forth as one of the most original artists I have heard in a while. It is hard to believe this guy is not yet signed. If there is any justice, he will be soon. When you hear material this good, and there are only 5 songs, it leaves you begging for more. And with that fact in mind, it is fair to say this album is a success.

Similar To: Valentine, Queen

The music portion is 24:27, the interview is 26:19, making the total playing time 50:46

[This review originally appeared May 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

A Little Chemistry (2:27) / White Trash Wonder (3:01) / You Never Have To Grow Old, My Dear (Song For Mercury) (4:40) / Where's Everybody Gone? (3:09) / Chemistry Experiment (5:00) / M.D.G. Record Remix (6:10) / bonus: Guernere interviewed by Scott Van Dusen

Matthew D Guernere - vocals, drums, percussion, guitar, and programming
Robert Scribble - piano, synthesizers (1) and keyboards (3)
Ethan Porter - guitar (1, 5)
Jay J. Palermo - guitar (2, 6)
Mike Gallagher - guitar (3, 6)
Mike Ciranni - acoustic guitar (4, 6)
A.D. Zimmer - bass (2, 3, 6)
Paul Smoker - trumpet (6)

The Mass Produced Cassette (cass, oop) (1986)
M.D.G.'s Mass Produced Casette Vol. II (cass, oop) (1987)
M.D.G. EP (cass, oop) (1988)
M.D.G. Mass Produced Cassette Vol. III (cass, oop) (1988)
What's Real - 'You Never Have To Grow Old, My Dear (Song For Mercury)' (cass, oop) (1992*)
What's Real - What's Real (cass, oop) (1993)
M.D.G. CD 1986-1988 (CDR, oop)
Radio U - I Think It's This City (cass, oop) (1994**)
Radio U - Still Stand (CDR/cass, oop) (1995**) The Crux - The Crux (CDR/cass, oop***)
Full O'Faith (CDR oop) (1998)
M.D.G. (2001)
MP3.ep (oop) (2002)
'Underachiever' (2002)
M.D.G. '03 (2003)
'Roadmap' (2004)

*incl. on M.D.G. (2001); **remixes avail. on M.D.G. and the oop Mp3.ep (2001-2002); ***remixes avail. on oop Mp3.ep (2002)

Genre: Rock

Origin US

Added: January 17th 2005
Reviewer: Bjørnar Bevolden
Artist website:
Hits: 1444
Language: english


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