By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
At 35, Jonah Matranga is an old emo guy; depending on when your Alternative Press subscription lapsed, you know him from Far, Onelinedrawing, or New End Original. On the self-titled debut by his current San Franciscobased act Gratitude, Matranga leaves the good parts to the pros: drummer Kenny Aronoff, keyboardist Patrick Warren, pedal steel player Greg Leiszthey're all featured prominently on a disc produced with muscular precision by industry vet Jim Scott.
Which leaves Matranga free to pursue the same overt songfulness his younger peers are after. You can hear him reaching for it in tunes about churches and bars and guns and daughters, but because he sings with the same top-of-the-lungs conviction he always has, the music comes off as appealingly earnest, not overly solemn. Especially during the part of "The Greatest Wonder" where he sounds like Cher in "If I Could Turn Back Time."
Gratitude play Randalls Island August 13.