The Legal Matters isn't just a band, it's a meeting of the minds of three notable figures on the Midwest power pop scene -- Keith Klingensmith was a member of Hippodrome and the Phenomenal Cats and runs the indie pop label Futureman Records, Andy Reed was the leader of the group An American Underdog, and Chris Richards was Klingensmith's bandmate in Hippodrome and the Phenomenal Cats as well as leading Chris Richards & the Subtractions. The Legal Matters first came together in early 2013, when Richards & the Subtractions cut an EP of covers titled That Covers That 2: Electric Boogaloo. Reed took part in the That Covers That sessions, and when Klingensmith and Richards began blocking out plans for a new Phenomenal Cats record, they invited Reed to join them in the studio. The three songwriters began exchanging demos, and since they all lived in different cities in Michigan, most of the collaborating and pre-production was done by phone or over the Web. By the time Klingensmith, Reed, and Richards gathered at Reed's studio, Reed Recording Company, the three realized that with Reed's extensive input this was a different animal than the Phenomenal Cats, and with that in mind, the new trio adopted a new name, the Legal Matters, based on their shared love of the Who. With help from their friends and fellow musicians Cody Marecek and Nick Piunti, the Legal Matters recorded their debut album in just six days during the coldest and snowiest winter in Michigan's history; the self-titled album was released by Klingensmith's Futureman label in May 2014.
Mark Deming (All Music)