Matchbook Romance with Motion City Soundtrack, The Matches and From First to Last
Wednesday at Bogart's
What's in a name? Plenty, if there are lawyers involved. Just ask the boys from Matchbook Romance. The energetic Punk/Screamo band from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., began life in 1997 with the ill-conceived name Fizzlewink; at that point they were a trio including vocalist/guitarist Andrew Jordan and bassist Ryan Kienle. In 2001, the duo reconfigured with the addition of drummer Aaron Stern and second guitarist
Ryan "Judas" DePaolo wisely decided to change their name with the expansion in personnel. The newly christened Getaway launched an unprecedented (at the time) Internet campaign to garner a broader listenership by posting their work on grass roots sites like mp3.com and punknews.org, which led to an avid and exponentially expanding fan base in the band's native Northeast. In the meantime, Epitaph founder/Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz discovered Getaway's demo on punknews.org and contacted Jordan to discuss the possibility of signing the band. A visit to California sealed the deal, and Getaway joined the storied Punk label's illustrious roster, with Gurewitz agreeing to produce the band's initial EP. But before they hit the studio, a band with a similar name threatened legal nastiness and Getaway became the even cooler sounding Matchbook Romance. The band's debut EP, West for Wishing, and their Joe Barresi-produced full-length follow-up, Stories and Alibis, were both hailed as breaths of fresh air in the Punk/Pop genre in 2003, and they quickly became live favorites around the country, mirroring their regional success back home. Last fall saw the release of a split acoustic EP with Motion City Soundtrack, with each band contributing a new song and an unplugged reinvention of an old song. 2005 looks to be another banner year for the Romance; they've just finished recording a new song for this year's Punk-O-Rama compilation and they're one of the anchor bands on the current and first ever Epitaph Tour. Can an acclaimed new album be far behind?
By Brian Baker