Review Summary: Bay Area pop punkers get progressive (and annoying) with fall 2006 release.
The lead single from Decomposer, is an angular, progressive mind *** of a pop rock song that makes brilliant use of a line used most commonly in the children’s game of hide and seek. The first time I heard the song, titled Papercut Skin (sandwiched between Madina Lake and Bad Religion) I was kind of surprised, and kind of infatuated. This band, The Matches, really was something wasn’t it? Research (Wikipedia) showed that Decomposer, released off Epitaph records, had the Matches enlisting the help of 9 different punk super-producers, a feat nearly as impressive as their lead single. I was sold.
Unfortunately Decomposer is no where near as good as Papercut Skin would show. The band, especially Bassist Justin San Souchi, are a talented bunch, but that doesn’t stop them from creating some of the most annoying punk rock known to man. Case in point: Drive, a sexually charged explosion of Dance Punk and Pop Rock that sounds something like a floppy, overproduced mash up between Marvelous 3 and Ima Robot. The song is driven by an overdriven bass line, a limp metal riff and singer Shawn Harris’ high pitched squawk. Other songs, like the aforementioned Papercut Skin and Sunburn vs. The Rhinovirus, use the band’s progressive punk frustration for good, rather than suck. The latter, is a Mark Hoppus (of Blink-182) produced romp through self depreciation, mall punk and the art of making a high pitched voice just work. “My eyes are dry/but on the inside I’m all wet” shrieks Harris over a background a spiky post-punk riffs and pounding drums (something aptly named drummer, Matt Whalen, seems to be good at) before descending into a catchy popcore chorus that can run with the best of them.
Hoppus actually seems to have picked some of the best songs on the album to add his name to. Along with Rhinovirus, he produced What Katie Said, a catchy, heavily electronic ode to a girlfriend who deserved better, as well as The Barbers Unhappiness, a vocal centric number that’s trip hop in its verses and funeral-procession-tempo arena rock in its choruses. Though, like most of the CD Hoppus’ tracks lack the raw appeal I might like them to have, his production is crystal clear and steak knife sharp, unlike say, the rest of the CD.
The Matches have created a monster with Decomposer, an album that is fun, quirky and danceable, but to an annoyingly extreme point on many of its tracks. Dance punk has never really done it for me, and The Matches seem to have found a way to make it even more bothersome, most likely by fusing hyper-caffeinated grooves with testicle-retracting vocals and uncharacteristically cloudy production. Decomposer has its good (maybe even brilliant), its bad (maybe even horrible), and its ugly, but it doesn’t leave me the satisfied customer I was hoping it would. Download the good and forget about the bad.
A friend of mine who grew up seeing these guys in San Jose all the time let me listen to this album and every time I hear "lazier than the furniture" I gag. They're pretty good but I think they can be much better.
For a second album, this is incredibly originial in their own rights.
Listening carefuly, the album almost goes in a list of a story, and although a few annoying dance punk tunes are included, the intricate lyrics, 'funky' bass lines, catchy guitar and, as I would put it, clever singing voice, makes the album great.
It's not like the others, but that doesn't make it bad, in any sense.
I think you're being a little harsh. The songs were not annoying at all, except for My Soft and Deep, which pretty much sucks. Decomposer is the fan favorite of all 3 albums.
You know, you say how Shawn's voice is high pitched and annoying...well, it's supposed to be like that, and I think it sounds awesome.
Also, Drive is probably the best on their album.
Still, e von dahl is the best, but this is awesomeme still.
There's a few songs (Lazier Than Furniture, Little Maggots) that could be questioned, good or bad, but you can't rate an album a 3--good--and say that a lot of it sucks. What exactly sucks about it? I'm not completely disagreeing (although I enjoyed the album a little more than you, I think), but to barely mention squaky vocals and a little overproduction and then to resort to saying some of it is bad and possibly horrible gives off a very confused opinion. So should we buy the material CD or stick to a couple songs digitally? This review needs much more explination and revision before I'm going to consider taking it seriously.
This was a surprising Hit with me, I love the fact that 9 different producers made each track sound similar but unique at the same time. It's always been in High Rotation for me but it was the most played album of 2006.