Former Pistol packing hook-fuelled heat Though indelibly written into rock history as the original Sex Pistols bassist, Matlock has tended to spend his time away from punk notoriety as a jobbing musician for hire, only occasionally focusing on a solo career. Born Running is his first album for almost a decade, a solid slab of uncomplicated guitar rock that pleases the ears without worrying about pushing any boundaries.
It’s straight-down-the-line major chord anthemics all the way; Nowheresville pounds well above its weight in terms of sky-punching rock shapes and recalls its maker’s time with Rich Kids, while Something Tells Me boasts the uplifting blue collar credentials of Bruce Springsteen at his most radio-friendly. It’s a long way from Anarchy In The UK, perhaps, but powerfully palatable stuff nonetheless.
The album features the last work of Matlock’s erstwhile Rich Kids buddy Steve New, who died from cancer at the beginning of the year, his spiky power-pop guitar forming the backbone of the impossibly catchy Way To Go. A fitting curtain call, and a telling contribution to a well-crafted record that fizzes and feints with a lot of heart and little (if any) pretension.