Friday, March 14, 2008
If I Were You... I'd Buy the Matches New CD
Hope is no longer on a frayed rope. It’s a thriving 14-track album that proves there is indeed something to look forward to in the future of the music industry. Once again, there’s a reason to purchase an album (not just download it online) because a band that is the complete package does in fact exist- The Matches.
This act oozes art through its songs, appearance and stage presence right down to the visual representation in drawings, videos and personal ponderings displayed online. The members of the Matches are on their way to establishing themselves as true Rock Stars and this generation is fortunate enough to witness every step of the way. Vocalist Shawn Harris and company may have started out with short, snappy punk rock tunes on E. Von Dahl Killed The Locals, but they have metamorphosed into something so much more.
In a time when every band is trying to sound like everyone else, The Matches defy odds and break the pace. On the upcoming Epitaph release, A Band in Hope, Harris and his commrades show they are skillful craftsmen who compose auditory works of art, without a care as to what anyone will say about it. With risk and assurance, the band has departed from earlier roots that cemented a dedicated following (which spread far beyond its home state of California) and instead deliver an intellectual Pop portfolio that will stand the test of time, thanks to hints of operatic choruses and vintage moods set.
Listeners may be challenged and surprised at first, especially by first single, “Wake the Sun,” which isn’t as catchy as come other tracks, like “Yankees in a Chip Shop” or “If I Were You.” But it’s a great way to introduce the album to the masses. A plethora of producers really bring a variety of elements to the table, and hey, if Nick Hexum (311) has his hands in the mix then you know disappointment is not lurking anywhere nearby. “Clouds Crash” would fit in perfect on Butch Walker’s The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and the Let’s Go Out Tonites album and that’s not easy to accomplish by any means.
“More than we know, there’s a reason we exist. We won’t be this easily dismissed.” - Lyrics from “Point Me Toward the Morning.”
Neither is putting on a captivating live show that keeps audiences eyes glued to the stage every second of it, but no problem there, either. Harris is one of the most engaging front men commanding the stage today. But what’s most appealing is the band’s DIY-ethic, dreams-to-reality approach that really made The Matches what it is today.
Sure, it’s ballsy to stream your entire album online before it comes out. But who ever said conforming to the norm gets you anywhere?
If no one took risks, the world would be a pretty boring place.
Planet Verge on You Tube brings you The Matches at Bamboozle:
And The School of Rock:
* By Joelle, who has something special to say:
Back when Planet Verge first started, we got sent a promo from the Matches. For some reason, I pretty much dismissed it. But TWO of our writers gave the CD raving reviews. Then, about a year ago, I was working in A&R and went to go scout a band that happened to be playing with The Matches. That band didn't have a chance in hell of getting my interest once they took the stage after the Matches, who stole the show. Soon after, Bamboozle came around and I didn't miss any of The Matches sets. The band's live show is just THAT GOOD. I pulled out that old promo CD and haven't put it away since. It's very, very rare that I become a fan of a because of seeing them live. Or that I even pay attention to a band on stage that I don't know. But the Matches have that charisma that pulls you in. And I'm glad it did.