Matchbook Romance


Written by: PP on 31/01/2006 10:11:24

"What on earth happened here?", is the first question that comes in mind while listening to Matchbook Romance's sophomore effort "Voices". Where are the strong, angstful emo songs like "Your Stories, My Shadows" or "Shadows Like Statues" from the debut album? Some bands are like Story Of The Year, and dare to take a direction towards a harder, less mainstream sound. Others, unfortunately, are like Matchbook Romance.

"Voices" is the effective antonym of "Stories And Alibies". The screams/strong shouts are gone completely, the aggression wouldn't scare away a one year old, the larger than life guitar melodies are missing, and everything that made Matchbook Romance one of the biggest emo bands of 2003 is gone. Instead, the band has created a sound so mainstream it almost makes me wanna throw up. The grand, My Chemical Romance influenced chorus of "My Mannequin Can Dance" is undeniably one that won't leave your mind in the near future, and the high octane alternative rock anthem "Surrender" is guaranteed to win the hearts of many fans with the average age of 13. I can see with my inner eyes the small, screaming teenage girls at the future Matchbook Romance concerts. Well, wait a minute. After this album, I won't be seen anywhere near a Matchbook Romance concert. The single that preceded the album, "Monsters", already foreshadowed the inevitable; this is what the band truly wants to do. I can't even use the major label excuse here, as the band is signed to Epitaph (although the prestigious punk label has lately gone in the wrong direction by signing rappers).

However much I hate the band for changing from emo to alternative rock, I'm going to take KS's advice here. He suggested that I should look at the album from a new perspective. How about forgetting everything the band did on their EP and the debut album, and considering them as a brand new band? In that case, "Voices" is an excellent alternative/stadium rock album. It guarantees the band worldwide success, and millions and millions of fans (=$), as well as airtime in every single commercial radio in the world. By looking at the album with these new eyes you can suddenly see the goods in songs like the slow, incredibly melodic "What A Sight". The band (once again, should i say?) showcases their ability to create melodies and structures so beautiful, that it's hard to comprehend how they ever came up with this material. "Portrait" is yet another song that portrays (pun intended) the magnificence of the new Matchbook Romance sound. It is the sound of a band whose ambition is nothing less than global domination, and as they possess songs over 7 minutes in length like "Goody, Like Two Shoes", with the grandeur only beaten by the Grand Canyon, it isn't a question of if the band makes it. It's a question of when.


Download: "Goody, Like Two Shoes", "Portrait"
For the fans of: My Chemical Romance

Release date 14.02.2006

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