Boroff spent much of the Nineties performing his own brand of experimental noise-rock across the northeast and playing solo gigs in New York City. In 2000, he relocated to Austria, where he met drummer Little Konzett and formed the basis of what would become Matt Boroff & the Mirrors, releasing a self-titled debut album to critical acclaim in 2004. With full-time bassist Rolf Kersting added to the fold, the band punched up its sound with slabs of driving rock and roll, sun-bleached grooves and jittery evocations of West Coast punk on 2006’s “Ticket to Nowhere.” As the band gelled and continued amassing a fervent following, it ventured even further into new realms on 2008’s “Elevator Ride,” conjuring images of Spaghetti Westerns and sweeping desert landscapes. Given Boroff’s penchant for cinematic imagery, it was hardly surprising when five tracks from “Elevator Ride” appeared on the soundtrack to the 2009 film “Little Fish, Strange Pond.” Boroff contributed some instrumental passages as well, exploring an orchestral feel that spilled over onto his 2009 solo debut, “Reaching for Sparks.” Weaving muted arrangements (guitar, piano, strings, horns and timpani) with reflective, elliptical lyrics, it invited comparisons to the likes of Iron & Wine and Nick Drake, cementing Boroff’s reputation for creating arresting music across a variety of styles. “Reaching for Sparks” was a well-received departure, but Boroff wasn’t content to simply continue down the same path.
In 2012, he released the four-song EP “Filling in the Cracks,” a concise mini-album that connected the dots between the musical imagery of “Elevator Ride” and the atmospherics of “Reaching for Sparks.” Once again, Boroff had confounded listeners’ expectations, leaving them eager to see where he was headed next. That anticipation has finally been rewarded. Boroff’s second solo album, “Sweet Hand of Fate” fulfills and exceeds the promise of “Filling in the Cracks.” From the spiraling guitar of the opening number “Lost” to the echoes of a restless man coming to grips with his uncertain fate on “Here in Limbo,” Boroff leads the listener through a series of absorbing tales of reflection and catharsis. Two standouts from “Filling in the Cracks” (the Ennio Morricone-meets-the-blues title track and the anguished, affecting “Garbage Man,” featuring a harrowing guest vocal from alt-rock legend Mark Lanegan) are revived here, meshing perfectly with “Going to the Hypnotist” (which evokes the ragged experimentalism of Tom Waits), the ethereal menace of “My Black Heart” and the searching urgency of the title track. Throughout the proceedings, the secret weapon remains Boroff’s versatile delivery, evoking the warm introspection of Leonard Cohen one moment and channeling the gritty passion of Waits or Nick Cave the next.
“Sweet Hand of Fate” finds a visionary artist ascending to new heights, and reveals yet more layers of a musician who continues to amaze and inspire, as he undoubtedly will for years to come. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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