“A New York concertgoer is no stranger to the cool smolder of Irving Plaza’s chandelier lighting, and the hushed excitement building up to the first note of the night. But even the regulars were blown backwards by Matt Jaffe ... who nonstop wailed in a retro-rock haze.”
“Jaffe’s sound is certainly eclectic, completely unexpected, and undeniably catchy–an effervescent marriage of punk-rock hooks and funky, rockabilly melodies. You’ll find nothing else like it in mainstream today, but it’s not an accident. The twenty-year-old frontman wears his influences on his sleeve, summoning cues from The Clash, Bob Dylan and Talking Heads, Jaffe exudes an effortless James Dean vibe with a stage presence reminiscent of Young Americans-era David Bowie”
"the Bay Area prodigy’s music is not only relentlessly hooky, but wickedly clever too"
“'Blast Off ... channels the frenetic, angular sound of the singer’s favorite artists, including Elvis Costello and the Talking Heads.'”
"the 19-year-old singer-songwriter creates self-assured music that brings you back to 1970s pop-punk—a time when Elvis Costello, X and the Clash ruled."
“Blast Off cops new-wave vibes from Talking Heads, a little rockabilly sneer from The Clash, and coats everything with a power-pop sheen that pays homage to Bay Area forebear Green Day”
“One of the freshest new sounds of the year is coming out of San Francisco, by way of nineteen-year-old Matt Jaffe, and his band The Distractions.”
“'With... this rather sensational debut, Jaffe could very well be blasting off to the kind of break-out success his talent deserves.'”
“'Jaffe has perfected his modern take on rockabilly, new wave and indie pop-punk-rock, fusing them together for an unforgettable listening experience on his brand new EP with the Distractions, Blast Off.'”
“'the only thing sharper than that diamond-cuttingly-sharp coif are his lyrics and riffs.'”
“Best New Song by an Artist Born During the Whitewater Scandal: "Put Your Finger in the Socket," by 19-year-old Matt Jaffe and his SF-based band the Distractions. Classic songcraft, weird and compelling vox, formidable on-camera charm... this is the Elvis Costello / Tyler Oakley lovechild we've been waiting for."”
“Though Jaffe is just 19-years-old, he has already made a name for himself in the northern California rock scene. Jaffe & The Distractions proudly wear their influences on their sleeves, featuring the rock sensibility of the Clash with the memorable songwriting and tone of Elvis Costello. On “Put Your Finger In The Socket,” Jaffe manages to reinforce why this vintage sound is back in the limelight while simultaneously adding his own modern spin to the genre.”
“San Francisco based Matt Jaffe’s enthusiasm for pop rock is palpable and he is more than equipped to spread the gospel.”
“....there’s no way around it: hearing a performer this good at 19 years old is notable.”
"But his charm is far more .... his voice is distinctive – there is nothing like it in the hard rock world. And his guitar-playing is superb – grounded in years of classical training that makes the instrument an extension of his body and his mind."
“All too often, it seems that music is being written and produced so sleekly that it can just blend into everyday life, without jolting you. We want to jolt the listener. We do not want to be elevator music." - Matt Jaffe”
"Most memorable for us is "I Wanna Be Cruel." With a chord structure that echoes early Beatles ballads, this clever, introspective tune has a disarming clarity that grabbed us. Jaffe is a talent, an old soul in an 18-year-old's body."
"Honestly, after looking at some of your videos and listening to your music, I'm pretty much blown away by your arsenal of talent at such a young age."
"He's a great talent, and many people will hear of him in the future."
“In May of 1974, rock critic Jon Landau wrote “I saw rock and roll’s future and it’s name is Bruce Springsteen”. Tonight I want to take those words and twist them a bit, tonight I saw a future star of rock and roll, who takes rock and roll’s past and make it come alive, and his name is Matt Jaffe.”
“17 year old, musical boy wonder, Matt Jaffe was fatefully discovered by Talking Heads member Jerry Harrison at an open mic, and has been on an ascending musical journey ever since.”
“I’m a singer/songwriter from San Francisco who was lucky enough to stumble upon a killer band. I like to write songs in the tradition of Elvis Costello and David Byrne and perform them restlessly around the Bay. MAKE & MODEL 2011 Fender Classic Player Jazzmaster in 3-Tone Sunburst WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU Since its purchase, I have written, performed, and recorded with this guitar to the point that it embodies my music like nothing else. Cosmetically speaking, its vintage, off-kilter vibe complements my songs – it’s a wonderful ally in music making.”
“The type of music I play definitely represents the music I enjoy listening to. I really enjoy acoustic groups (The Decemberists, The Tallest Man on Earth, The Secret Stars), but also groups with a more aggressive edge (Talking Heads, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, The Clash, Arcade Fire). Another musician who has greatly informed my guitar playing Django Reinhardt. While his influence may not be as obvious, I consider him very significant in the development of my own guitar style.”
"Our music isn't heavy metal," he noted, "but my songs are now in rock setting with electric instruments. Overall, it's incredible being a part of a band. Playing alone, your energy is so reliant on the audience's energy. In a group, you can have energy within the band itself. And it's really cool to be able to write with more instruments in mind. I don't have to be limited to just the guitar and what I can play myself." "Recently my songs have had a political influence, for better or worse," he said, citing Michael Moore's documentary, "Capitalism: A Love Story" as the inspiration for the oddly-titled "Your Appendix," a new song with a Beatles' "Revolution" sound and lyrics that are metaphors for a voting public content to let their country go to hell.