So first things first, if you judge this band by its name then you'll be dead wrong. The Matches are not just another "the" band hoppin' on the ole wagon. From the moment you pop this baby in your CD player you'll discover that these guys got something different going on. Clever lines and melodies will parade their way into your ears, driven by hooks and riffs that demand attention.
In all honesty, I thought I wasn't going to be very big on this band...But that foolish thought has long since been vaporized from my head with my newly found addiction to the charm that's been laced in this album. I'll break it down for you track by track so you know what you are going to go out and buy May 11th.
It all begins with "Dog-Eared Page". This song summed up in one word, clever. Well executed lines such as "I'm just a dog-eared page you turn back to. Where's the place for me, when we're both in love with you?" make me wish I would've thought of them. But since I didn't, I'll just sing along. We then find it melting into the next track, "Audio Blood". This song is darkly delightful. Although it's probably one of the lower ranked songs on my list, it's still energetic and good listenin'. "Chain Me Free" keeps it simple as the powerful vocals ring and sing about the complications of relationships. It beautifully sets up the next track, "The Restless". For all you fans of bands such as Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly, this song is right up your alley. Succeeding the song that makes me want to get up and march around my room comes "Superman". Commonly titled, it's likewise a common song. Nothing your jaw will drop for, but done well enough that you will not find yourself skipping to the next track. And the reason why this lull in the album is allowed is because you'll need to catch your breath for the next song, "Eryn Smith". It's simply brilliant.
The Matches' uniqueness frequently pops up throughout the album, and this song is the star for that claim to fame. I don't know if I should dance, sing along, or be impressed. The following three, "Say 18", "The Jack Slap Cheer", and "Destination: Nowhere" are the two minute trio. Within each song you'll hear punk influence and plenty of energy. They take you running through the home stretch of the album and continue the trend of cunning and charming styling. As the album reaches a close with "Sick Little Suicide" the rock is brought on. Cutting guitar riffs and a solo provide you with the opportunity to rock out one last time. Because the finale of the album lets you part ways to the sound of acoustic guitars. This song conveys this band's ability that I've repeatedly stated throughout this review. Originality and cleverness; while in this song it exists in the vocals, overall it shows in everything. So as the last note rings out, I sit back and smile upon the fact that I gave these guys a chance.
Epitaph was wise to sign this young band. Making their imprint on the music world with ability and ingenuity, I expect them to go places. While their full potential might have not been entirely tapped, their production of a great debut album is applauded.
To sum it up, if you take punk, funk, rock 'n roll, Brand New, and a pinch of originality, put it all and a blender, blend it up, and pour it into a matchbook you will get The Matches.
RATING: 4 of 5
REVIEWER: Jordan Hoefar