From the opening notes of Metts Ryan & Collins’ new four-track record, you can feel the trio ooze with earnest authenticity. Before a minute has passed, you fully understand that they like to rock out. That inaugural track, “Oregon” (watch the video below), is an ode to home and has already been blasted over the Moda Center’s PA at a Blazers game.
Harkening back to classic blues-infused rockers like Zeppelin, The Stones and Humble Pie as much as metal pioneers AC/DC and modern acts like The Black Keys or Jack White, MRC recorded each song in a single take, “capturing a moment in time,” guitarist and vocalist Geoff Metts says.
But that’s not where the story starts: “We booked our first gig before we had written any songs or had even rehearsed, and with only five weeks before the show, the clock was ticking,” Metts recalls. “Actually, somebody asked Dain [Ryan, bass], ‘What's the name of your band?’ and he came up with it off the top of his head”—with the Collins courtesy of drummer Mike.
“’Right On Track' was one of the original five songs we wrote,” Metts says. “I had been messing around with the main riff in an open G tuning for a few weeks so it was time to finish it. The lyrics—‘they say you can't take it with you and can't take it back; they say to enjoy it now and I'm right on track’—are about living in the moment.”
Sure, the guys themselves were “Right On Track” by prematurely booking a gig and then quickly and thickly slathering on the heavier blues rock, reminiscent of the aforementioned Aussie architects of hard rock, to nostalgic effect.
Putting in time at SE Portland’s Revolver Studios (recording “loud and live to analog tape in one big room,” Metts describes) and Opal Studio, MRC sonically achieved their goal of making a high-fidelity, "simple yet effective" live recording, which is also informed by the sounds of Motown, Stax and the British Invasion thanks to the involvement of all three in the local rock, funk and soul revue band Ants In The Kitchen (also where the guys originally met).
“We are all playing a lot of music and in a really good place in our lives—you've got to appreciate that when it happens,” Metts says.