Metal Hammer Uk Dec. 2003
The Barfly, London
Hype: Very, very easy to generate. Leave it to the hype machine and before you know it you've got a packed, condensation-running-down-the-walls show at the Barfly before you've even got a record in the shops. Exactly like tonight's Matchbook Romance show this evening in fact! But the one downfall of such a build up of expectations is that you have to meet them. If you have a room full of people expecting you to be 'da shit' as it were, and you turn out to be simply 'shit' then you have a major fucking problem.
Thankfully it's not a problem that Matchbook Romance have to worry about because a) they have a phenomenal album ('Stories and Alibis') and b) for a band so early into their careers, they are an airtight live unit.
Sticking mostly to songs from their aforementioned opus, the Matchbook Romance's attack is an overwhelming flurry of big chopping guitars, and a thundering rhythm section that mixes up an awesome blend of commercial emo with an almost Foo Fighteresque delicate pop aesthetic. Onstage the band's already energetic collection of songs seem even more alive than on record, exploding in bursts of mammoth and think textured melodies. The real ace in the Romance's pack however is frontman Andrew Jordan. The man simply has star quality in abundance; his visual stage presence is, quite simply startling, and his voice drenches the room with a tidal wave of tortured, human emotion! Tonight was the start of something very, very special, and it's difficult to imagine the Matchbook Romance playing somewhere of this scale ever again. They're going to be HUGE I tells ya!
Terry Bezer (9)