Pulley - Matters (Cover Artwork)


Pulley: MattersMatters (2004)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: ChinatownChinatown
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Named after their touring van, Matters, Pulley's fifth full-length, marks a new staple in the band's already impressive catalog. As stated by lead singer Scott Radinsky on one of the four videos included in the enhanced portion of the disc, Matters took over a year to write, and it shows. Let me mak.
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Named after their touring van, Matters, Pulley's fifth full-length, marks a new staple in the band's already impressive catalog. As stated by lead singer Scott Radinsky on one of the four videos included in the enhanced portion of the disc, Matters took over a year to write, and it shows. Let me make this clear right now: there is zero filler on this record.

If I were to classify the band's sound, I'd call it happy skatepunk. Pulley are much too fast to be pop-punk, yet too soft and clean to be straight-up punk rock. Think of how Strung Out sounded on the bouncier tracks of Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues, subtract just a bit of technical proficiency, add more zeal, and youâ??ve got Pulley.

Every song on here crackles with energy. "Huber Breeze" contains a fast, wicked solo that conjures memories of listening to my very first punk album, Leche Con Carne! "I Remember" starts off as a blazing but softly-sung song, then becomes downright scary with Radinsky belting out "I know their faces and I know their names/Been to the places and I remember" in the final few seconds in a voice demonized by effects. Pulley also throw in a couple of slow numbers for good measure: "Insects Destroy" and "Immune," both led by anthematic choruses designed to rouse up crowds. These are the kinds of moments that define the blissfulness of music. It's great to see that there still exists bands willing to play no-frills punk despite the growing popularity of supposedly-profound concept albums and the Return of the Synthesizers.

The production is absolutely fantastic. Radinsky's vocals meld beautifully with the instrumentation. The fact that his pipes are on par with Jason Cruz's isn't too bad a thing, either. I'm no musician, but to my ears, the drumsticks pound the skins at a frantic rate and the dual guitars of Jim Blowers and Mike Harder crash together in invigorating patterns. That's a good thing.

Lyrically, Radinksy is not exactly on the same level as a Kasher or a Schwarzenbach. His lyrics mainly address troubled relationships, "It's only over when you've given up on me"; drug addiction, "Give me all the drugs you have/One more shot and I'll be dead"; and what it is to be a artist, "Time to time I write these rhymes/It takes me to a better place." While not amazing, they suit the overall sound of the band, which is all that I ask for as a listener. Pulley aren't here to revolutionize music or express awe-inspiring ideas: they just want to write and play some awesome skatepunk.

My only gripe with Matters comes with its slightly offbeat sequencing. Track 7 clearly contains two (rocking) songs, which is plain weird halfway through a record. Also, there's a twelve-second gap between tracks 11 and 12. That slightly botches the flow of the album.

But, those tiny flaws don't conceal the fact that Matters is a timeless punk record. Had it been released in 1994, it would have been just as exciting to hear as it does right now. Frankly, punk hasn't sounded this great in years.

Buy this record. It matters.


People who liked this also liked:
Rise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteStrung Out - Suburban Teenage Wasteland BluesDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeDescendents - Cool To Be YouRancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesBad Religion - SufferThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Operation Ivy - Operation IvyTeenage Bottlerocket - They Came from the Shadows

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
paal (March 24, 2009)

I love it!! Finally some good skatepunk!

outinthered (March 26, 2007)

Return to form after the slghtly off target 'together again for the first time' still not on ar with 'Esteem Driven Engine' or '60 Cycle Hum' but a very good album nonetheless

chickswithdicks (August 15, 2006)

i have 2 pulley baseball cards.

Anonymous (November 24, 2005)

give a little respect http://www.los-angeles-casino.com/lanir/casino-directory-2005.htm l

Anonymous (October 26, 2005)

in brazil pulley is cooll very coll dude!!

AlmostPunkEnough (August 20, 2005)

i designated this as my 3rd favorite cd of 2004, and i still stand by that. absolutley awesome. 'YSC' has become one of my all-time favorite skatepunk songs.

someone-yeah (July 19, 2005)

A real good album with real good songs and real good production.

Real good.

Anonymous (May 17, 2005)

would you like me to help you pick up all those names you dropped?

fucking tool

Anonymous (January 14, 2005)

one of the best melodic/skatepunk releases last year!

Anonymous (November 22, 2004)

this album kicks ass. One of the best punk albums ive heard in a long time. Definetly pulley in top form.

Anonymous (November 22, 2004)

this album kicks ass. One of the best punk albums ive heard in a long time. Definetly pulley in top form.

Anonymous (September 4, 2004)

some great shit!!!

Anonymous (August 16, 2004)

Bahahaha a Frenchman!

Anonymous (July 29, 2004)

De très bonne music ("stomach Aches ....) mais certaine autre impeut tros POP avec un mauvais coté "Good charlotte" qui rend pas enfin bon mais très bon CD avec des bonus bien simpas

Anonymous (July 11, 2004)

Somebody down there was talking about how rich scott is. Well, I saw them at the gorge warped show yesterday and he was talking about how they couldn't get on the mainstage with the "millionaires". He made several such comments, and not sarcastically... I'm pretty sure the dude isn't that well off. He made it sound like they were pissed that they've worked so hard and they still have to play on the volcom stage. It sounds like he put his money into charities or investments or something. When was the last time he played ball anyway?

Anonymous (July 2, 2004)

I picked up the album two days ago, and i can't stop listening to it.
It really kicks ass. This is Pulley at it's best. Buy the fucking record!

Anonymous (June 16, 2004)

I totally agree with you in this review. This is one of the best records to come out in a long time.

Carlos_Restrepo (June 10, 2004)

Maximo disco!!! mediocre caratula, pero no importa! jeje

Recomendado para seguidores de Zero Down y Strung Out

Anonymous (June 5, 2004)

This album is great, fuck the close-minded people who say that all Epitaph bands are the same, or that Scott's a sellout cos he played baseball - who gives a fuck, it's all about the music, and Pulley rules.

Ten Foot Pole's new one is good too, much better than "Bad Mother Trucker"


Anonymous (May 30, 2004)

This is a great fuckin' album, but all of this hate for the "new" Pennywise blows my mind. I really like From The Ashes.

Anonymous (May 7, 2004)

"60 Cycle Hum" is and will always be my favorite Pulley album. "Matters" isn't anywhere close.... But I still give it a 10!! Pulley is a good band ....we don't have to label good do we?! If you don't like it...then don't f'n listen to it.

Anonymous (May 7, 2004)

"60 Cycle Hum" is and will always be my favorite Pulley album. "Matters" isn't anywhere close.... But I still give it a 10!! Pulley is a good band ....we don't have to label good do we?! If you don't like it...then don't f'n listen to it.

Anonymous (May 7, 2004)

This album was a pretty good one, I've only heard a few Pulley tracks before this but the lyrics on this album Are Really BAD!! "Insects Destroy" is my favorite song but it is so lame and cheesy and cliche that I'm surprised anyone could actually take them seriously. I guess Pulley is okay, they sound alot like Pennywise but better

Anonymous (April 29, 2004)

""When will skate punk, screamo, emo, metalcore, "pop" punk, oi, street punk, and ska just die?"

Now you're talking.

But skapunk should die, not ska..."

What the fuck do you listen to then. You pretty much named every type of music this site stands for. YOu are a peice of shit.

Anonymous (April 23, 2004)

Definately one of the best buys of the year so far...

I think the reason why pulley has been undermined by so many people is because of the lack of recognition in the scene. Scott Radisky sings with so much emotion, and i think that it is because of his pure and undivided love for the music. He has overcome and accomplished more in 34 years than i would hope to, in a lifetime.
When Jim made him quit TFP he could have left it all together, he was making a good living from his baseball career, but even when he got sick he still rocked harder than most of the shit we listen to out there. So i just love this album for it is. not what it would have been in '1994' or whatever. Good music is good music whether everyone else is listening to it at that given time or not.

Anonymous (April 21, 2004)

Excellent album, right up there with their self-titled. Definitely one of the best punk albums so far this year. It kills the latest one from Pennywise (they are getting old fast), and I hate to say it but it's more enjoyable to listen to than the newest one from BR (Empire Strikes First). Although BR is great for different reasons. Anyway great album, I will definitely be catching them live on Warped (if they come to Phoenix, that is...)

Dud3 (April 21, 2004)

Can't really rate the whole album as I've only heard A Bad Reputation, but it's pretty cool. Can't help but think of Blink 182 when I hear it though *cringe*.

lieutenant (April 20, 2004)

I think the last sentence was a typo. The review probably meant, "Buy this album. It's Matters."

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

"When will skate punk, screamo, emo, metalcore, "pop" punk, oi, street punk, and ska just die?"

Now you're talking.

But skapunk should die, not ska...

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

It's "y," you dumbass.

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

i'm rich beeyach! -scott radinski

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

Oh yeah, here's the direct link: http://www.baseball-reference.com/r/radinsc01.shtml

- Fatty Arbuckle

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

Everybody's speculating on what Radinsky made. Well, here's what he made, according to baseball-reference.com, the most kickass site outside of this one:

1990 Chicago White Sox $100,000
1991 Chicago White Sox $130,000
1992 Chicago White Sox $190,000
1993 Chicago White Sox $1,050,000
1994 Chicago White Sox $1,150,000
1995 Chicago White Sox $1,150,000
1996 Los Angeles Dodgers $600,000
1997 Los Angeles Dodgers $900,000
1998 Los Angeles Dodgers $900,000
1999 St. Louis Cardinals $2,500,000
2000 St. Louis Cardinals $2,500,000

Now, I don't think he's made much since then ... and that's four years. Just keep that in mind, plus the fact mentioned below that he donated a huge chunk to start a skate park in SoCal. That is all.

- Fatty Arbuckle

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

When will skate punk, screamo, emo, metalcore, "pop" punk, oi, street punk, and ska just die? Can't we get some more hardcore punk please? Is it so much to ask?

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

Is it just me or was that a lame last sentence? Nice "play on words."

lieutenant (April 20, 2004)

Oh yeah, originality is overrated.

lieutenant (April 20, 2004)

I really fucking like what Pulley are doing.

It's wonderful to see this band continue to exist. I am not a fan, and I will clearly admit that their music isn't quite my dish, however the review nailed it when the band was hailed as one of the few "no frills" punk champions. You can take a band like Against Me!, who I believe are the best punk rock band out today, however even then there are a number of influences and varied use of the instruments going on. Pulley however, are completely innocent of all antics and just do what they've always done. I don't know if this little comment defends bands like Pennywise, but I don't care if it does. I think the word "mediocre" is often misused. Skate punk isn't my thing, but I'd like to think I can commend a band for doing what they do well and sticking to it in a sea of "diversity".

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

"It definitely beats the shit out of the new Bad Religion."

What the fuck are you talking about? This shits! Really makes my brain hurt.

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

you all must realize that a baseball player makes a minimum of $300,000. Thats quite a bit of change.

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

This is a fucking superb album. And it's funny; skate punk has been so completely superseded by the emo/scremo crap, this sounds fresh and different to me now. How times have changed. Praise Allah for Pulley.

- Fatty Fat Fatty Arbuckle

Mikeshitter (April 19, 2004)

It definitely beats the shit out of the new Bad Religion.

Anonymous (April 19, 2004)

Different and some good songs. However, generally put me to sleep. Slightly disappointed

Anonymous (April 19, 2004)

It shouldn't matter, but I've been listening to punk rock since before "Dookie" was even a glimmer in Green Day's eye and I still love good old fashioned California skate punk. It's not arty, it's not terribly novel, and it's not terribly fashionable, but it still makes me want to shred - and that's what's really important.

Anonymous (April 19, 2004)

yes, lets argue about whats punk and whats not, cuz that'll never get tired right?

Anonymous (April 19, 2004)

The guy below me is an idiot...

How is Matters not punk? It's definitely more punk than the new Bad Religion.

Anonymous (April 19, 2004)

It's not really punk...but its good nonetheless.

Anonymous (April 19, 2004)

I love this album, it's awesome!

Anonymous (April 19, 2004)

Buy the new TFP, promo copies are everywhere.

Anonymous (April 19, 2004)

great skate punk album. its not amazing but they are one of the few bands still around that can pull this sound off w/o it sounding tired (like pennywise sounds now).

Anonymous (April 19, 2004)

Love this CD. Where can I hear the new Ten Foot Pole, anyone?


AdamBlue (April 19, 2004)

I'm really picky when it comes to music, so I was happy to find this album contained many fast tracks. I'm also glad their sound hasn't changed. Just more and more fast punk music.

Anonymous (April 19, 2004)

Jesse, not all bands need to be experimental, but shit... nice try asshole. I'll choose Pulley over Mars Volta anyday. music doesn't need to be revolutionary to be enjoyable. Pulley did a great job and that's that.

TheOneTrueBill (April 18, 2004)

Actually, he has glaucoma.

Anonymous (April 18, 2004)

Kirby Puckett blows.

Great CD

t-rav (April 18, 2004)

Jesse, your a flaming moron.

Jesse (April 18, 2004)

There is nothing special about this band, or any other "skate-pop-melocdic-hardcore-derivative-punk" band. It's a tired genre full of shitty music that has been done before and will be done again.

Music needs to become an art again.

Anonymous (April 18, 2004)

9.3, dumbass. Yeah, that was far too elevated a score, but Alkaline Trio deserve a 1.0.

This score is for your intelligence.

Anonymous (April 18, 2004)

Pitchfork gave pennywise's "straight ahead" a 9.8, and Alkaline Trio's "maybe I'll catch fire" a 3.2

Nuff said.

Anonymous (April 18, 2004)

Well, you're weird then. "Corrie" has the lamest of choruses.

kirbypuckett (April 18, 2004)

The problem with TFP's new record is that is has some mid-paced/soft throwaways, like "Rachel Corrie" and "Your World.

I thinke 'corrie' is one of my favorite songs on there.

- Kirby

hitlerbadzakgood (April 18, 2004)

see, the thing about pitchfork is they lose all credibility when they compare turning japanese to kyoto now.

Anonymous (April 18, 2004)

Give me a break. In no way is Bad Religion a "deep, emotional" band. They need to retire anyway, they're just like Pennywise now: no variety.

I'm tired, so I'll let Pitchfork state my point: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/record-reviews/b/bad-religion/no-su bstance.shtml

http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/record-reviews/b/b ad-religion/process-of-belief.shtml

Anonymous (April 17, 2004)

Good.....and Pulley is a decent band....i saw them open for Bad Religion last year in Agoura Hills and they played well....but they are not even in the same building as Bad Religion. How can you compare BR and Pulley....Pulley are fast skate pop punk....Bad Religion are melodic hardcore punk....I mean, only a fool couldn't see the huge difference between Bad Religion and these guys.....most notably in the lyrical content and the fact that Bad Religion records are, for the most part, politically charged, somewhat dark and sometimes wittily sarcastic. Pulley, on the other hand, deliver great music, but nothing on the album really get's inside the listeners head or conjures up anyy strong emotion...good stuff stil though.

t-rav (April 17, 2004)

I get really fucking sick of the "skate punk is so '95" crowd.....

Anonymous (April 17, 2004)

I bought the TFP record...and I have to say Pulley's effort is far better than TFP's.

The problem with TFP's new record is that is has some mid-paced/soft throwaways, like "Rachel Corrie" and "Your World."

I wouldn't give it more than a 7. This score is for Pulley.

kirbypuckett (April 17, 2004)

I thought this record was very boring.

Get the new Ten Foot Pole instead.

- Kirby

Anonymous (April 17, 2004)

Wow! Epitaph still has punk bands???

Anonymous (April 17, 2004)

finally. epitaph bands take note: this is how it's done. (that includes you, bad religion)

Anonymous (April 17, 2004)

the same old shit.
i mean: it's not a bad record, but we're in 2004... not in 1994.

Haggard (April 17, 2004)

"Yes, a 9. This record wipes the floor with the new Bad Religion (which only deserves about a 5 or 6)."

The new Pulley is good but does not in any way wipe the floor with the new Bad Religion.


Anonymous (April 17, 2004)

This album is full on Sick.
Ive bought a couple of other great album since i picked this up,
but this always get listerned to.
Probably there best work for years and probably on par with Rev.
Pulley rocks!

t-rav (April 17, 2004)

This one is great...only one besides esteem driven engine where I enjoy every single song. But hell, it's pulley they could go polka and still get an 8. And I did notice the strange similarities between TFP's never look back and Pulley's Looking back.

Anonymous (April 17, 2004)

Pulley doesn't write filler. I can't remember if they ever had. It's been their dynamic patchwork of influences that makes every album interesting and easy to listen to again and again. i don't think i'd like 60-cycle hum as much if every song sounded like Mandigo and Havasu.

I'm disappointed Mike didn't get his own song this time :(

Anonymous (April 17, 2004)

not as solid as their other albums. wish they had stuck with ryan greene. the sound on their albums with him was better. good, nonetheless. listen to Ten Foot Pole - Never Look Back, and then Pulley - Looking Back.

Anonymous (April 17, 2004)

good review

This album is quality.


notfeelingcreative (April 17, 2004)

As far as the whole "eptiaph sound" goes this is the best thing i've heard in a while.

Anonymous (April 17, 2004)

well this one is a notch above their last album. very well done.


Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

"I didn't even heard the album" - The last guy.

Man, just fucking stop right there.

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

I didn't even heard the album, so the score is for Esteem driven engine, which was their best album. Pulley is probably the best skatepunk band, but it's still only skatepunk...and, even thought you won't like me for saying that, i'm not 16 anymore, neither we're in 1995. Sorry, but i'll keep my 9/10 for something that "matters" more than this.

I still can't say anything about BR last album, but TPOB was their best work so far, and all but 2 or 3 BR albums are better than anything pulley ever put out.

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

An incredible album, from a great band. Pulley is not about Scott Radinskey. The acomplished players behind him make the band. The layered guitars create a full sound that is only duplicated from a handful of bands, like Strung Out and Lagwagon. Pulley Rules! They deserve better album sales.

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

How the hell did this become a topic of how much money Scott has made playing baseball? For starters, he was a relieve pitcher, so he never landed a huge ass contract. Not to mention, he hasn't pitched since the end of 2000 (For the Indians I believe) and only for the last month or two of the season and it had been awhile since he had pitched before that because he had surgery. No work = no money. I am just generalizing things, but I think you can see how the man is probably not made of gold. Does he have money? Probably. Is it A-Rod money? Not a chance.

Anyways, fuck all this stupid bullshit. Pulley fucking rules and Matters is just another outstanding album from one of the most underrated punk bands out there.

pastepunk (April 16, 2004)

If I'm not mistaken, Radinsky has invested his money from his baseball career into a variety of projects that benefit his community, including a well-known skatepark. The fact that Pulley tours like any other band that has established a modicum of success is in indicative of the nature of the people in the band. I'm sure Radinsy could pay for 5 star hotel rooms while on tour, but odds are, he and the rest of the band just don't have that kind of warped set of values. There are plenty of people who either have made a lot of money or were born into a lot of money who don't live that particular kind of lifestyle.

And yea, "Matters" fucking rules. Great disc.

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

Geez,the guy's been playing punk rock since 1982....he doesn't even play baseball anymore. I don't see how if he's a millionare it really makes a difference.

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

at least he's doing what he likes to do. if one of your interests led you to a million dollar career and you were in a band... would you quit the band because you make millions of dollars? i saw an interview, i think, where they said they go on tour and just 'scrape' by. well, that's dumb there.

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

Scott Radinsky. Million dollar baseball player by day, punk rocker by night. Who's this fucker kidding.

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

the score is for the cover art.

hayato_the_ninja (April 16, 2004)

I like this record. Good full sound. Best new record this year so far.

- Hayato

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

When is the onelinedrawing review going to go up

TheOneTrueBill (April 16, 2004)

There was an article about Jack McDowel in yesterday's Chicago tribune. Read this quote

"I'd rather havea Cy Young because you earn that. A No. 1 record doesn't mean squat. All that means is you were allowed to get in there and a bunch of dummies bought your record."

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

There's enough variety in each and every one of Pulley's songs to keep them sounding fresh and original. "YMC," for instance, has a definite Southern twang, while "I Remember" is pure angst.

People who say Pulley sounds redundant probably never even heard this record.

tyroneshoelaces (April 16, 2004)

That is sweet I remember that game. I think Jack Mcdowell has a good rock band to. And this disc rocks by the way.

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

I remember watching a Yankees game a few years back on Fox, and Bob Brenly (pre D-Backs manager era) was one of the announcers. When Bernie Williams, who plays a mean classical guitar, was up, they talked about ballplayers' bands. Including Pulley, which Brenly said would "frighten small children." Then the other announcer stood up for the band, saying that he thought they were pretty good. It might have been Joe Buck, it was one of those Fox play-by-play guys. Whoever it was, gained mad cool points.

And this record owns your soul.

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

Bad Religion is the definition of flogging a dead horse.

This score is for Pulley.

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

"Had it been released in 1994"

That's the problem with Pulley : no evolution in their sound !


Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

"I dunno, a 9?"

Yes, a 9. This record wipes the floor with the new Bad Religion (which only deserves about a 5 or 6).

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

"Pulley Matters" the funniest thing I have heard all day.


Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

Radinsky should have been the Dodgers closer that year that Todd Worrell was blowing save after save, I'll never forgive Bill Russel......after every blown save by Worrell he'd go "He's my closer."

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

I hate this band.

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

Best Pulley record to date. The production quality reminds me of LagWagon's latest album, in other words, it makes them sound much better.

Fav songs: 1, 2, 5 and 9.

ElVaquero (April 16, 2004)

I dunno, a 9?

TheMarc (April 16, 2004)

I cannot believe how good this album is.

Side note: I was touring Busch Stadium about 5 years ago, and Scott Radinsky's locker was full of Pulley stuff. I had never heard of them before that. Nostalga slays. So do the Cardinals. And so does Scott's career ERA (3.44). Not bad.

Anonymous (April 16, 2004)

Still, it should have been on a seperate track...

The reviewer (too lazy to log in)

TheOneTrueBill (April 16, 2004)

It's the 'Land of the Lost' theme!

I finally found this last night. I loooooove it. I'm in full on Pulley mode.

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