This Toronto trio features singer/songwriter/guitarist Matt Allen, ace bassist/backing vocalist Gary Kendall (Downchild), and drummer Adam David. Their new EP comes as a result of winning the Amy Louie Grossman Music Scholarship in 2018, whose funding facilitated this release. Money well spent, as Four Hot Tracks lives up to its title.
The fun begins with “Little Redhead,” an upbeat rockabilly romp punctuated by a twangy guitar solo that nails the classic sound perfectly.  It’s a tale of thwarted love/lust – “I love her but she don’t see” – and determination – “to look that good must be a crime, got to make the little redhead mine.” At 2.11, it’s a short and sweet opener.
It is followed by “I Love You So,” a toe-tapping tune in more of a ‘50s pop style, a la Buddy Holly. The lyrics certainly harken back to a more innocent time – “gonna see your papa, make him understand .. and ask for your hand.” An insinuating guitar line and backing vocals boost the track nicely.
Next up is “Never Go Out To Play,” a detour into jumpin’ blues territory that is equally convincing. A touch of fuzz on the guitar sound works well,  and Allen is in top vocal form. Lyrically, it’s an ode to the joys of indoor romantic fireworks – “when my baby comes to my house, we never go out to play.” Given the current lockdown situation, that’s a timely message!
The collection of four Allen original compositions is rounded out by “Little Easter.” It’s a raunchier blues-rock tune that sounds like something ‘80s era Fabulous Thunderbirds could have recorded. Propelled by full-blooded guitars and vocals and a hard-hitting rhythm, it could certainly fit on the format of a classic rock station. A varied and thoroughly entertaining EP, Four Hot Tracks will certainly have you thirsting for more. (Kerry Doole)