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The Volunteers

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Album Review

After the release of his debut as Onelinedrawing, Jonah Matranga toured relentlessly with bombastic groups including Thursday, Coheed & Cambria, and the Weakerthans — and on The Volunteers, it shows. No longer are the arrangements dominated by hush vocals and spare instrumentation. The Volunteers is gifted with smashing anthems like "We Had a Deal" (which could be Ryan Adams-penned). But Matranga doesn't completely abandon the original template, and the echoey and sparse bits create a now familiar but still effective loud/soft dynamic that is unstoppable. Even when the songwriting is odd (the start-stop "Over It"), it's because Matranga is masterfully constructing a setup to transition into pure pop grandiosity. Onelinedrawing, in general, may be a bit too saccharine for some listeners, and it lacks the classic power pop levity of a Brendan Benson or Weakerthans, but The Volunteers is a wildly inventive record that can stand tall beside earnest peers like Saves the Day's In Reverie.

Customer Reviews

Hi-fi low-fi.

The sounds are gorgeous, textured, fresh. A four-track lover with an audiophile's ear. Definitely headphone music--the big headphones. Love this guy. Just discovered him; know little; but I wonder, where's he been lately?


Formed: San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

While on hiatus from his duties fronting the Sacramento, CA-based emo band Far, singer/guitarist Jonah Sonz Matranga made his solo debut in mid-1997 with a limited-edition cassette collection of home recordings titled Onelinedrawing. Following 1998's Water & Solutions, Far went on indefinite hiatus, leaving Matranga to return to solo work with Sketchy e.p. #1, credited to Jonah's Onelinedrawing...
Full Bio
The Volunteers, Onelinedrawing
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Customer Ratings