In the Pop-Punk scene these days, it seems like hundreds of bands have captured the same sound and even appereance. In other words, its rare to find a modern pop-punk band thats on the tracks of original success. Only a few, and The Matches are one of those few bands that really brings their thoughts and ideas to the table and turns those thoughts into a great damn record. The Matches got together in the late 90's, in Oakland, CA, and were first seen in a compilation along with Nearmiss and Reeve Oliver (Takeover Records.) They were recognized for their excellence and were added to the Epitaph label.
What I see from The Matches is this new revolution of sound that really cathes people's attention. With brilliant Shawn Harris on leading vocals, and Jon Devoto on lead guitar, they create music unlike any other pop-punk band at least, I have ever heard. On may, 2004, they released their Epitaph debut album, E. Von dahl Killed the Locals, which was recognized right away by all sorts of fans and bands of the genre.
Shawn Harris - Vox, Guitar
Jon Devoto, Guitar, Vox
Justin San Souci - Vox, Bass
Matt Whalen - Drums
My conflinct with the intro to the album is that the perfect song for it would have been without a doubt Audio Blood, but hey, this isnt that bad either. Not the best intro to a very energetic album since this song is very sad if you listen to the lyrics. "Where's the place for me, when we're both in love with you?" You can tell this song wouldnt be so good if it wasnt for Shawn's vocals. He gives the song the mood. Highlight here is the guitar on the chorus, it always seems enjoyable to hear that fast-paced riff. Although this isnt one of the very stand-out tracks on the album, it still makes a quite explosive intro for whats coming up. 4/5
This song is awarded for the best song on the album and honestly, one of the greatest thought-out punk songs that have ever reached my ears. Lyrics here tell about outcasts that throughout the week get mocked and teased, but on the weekend, put on one hell of a punk rock show at some secret, cult-like location. The steady, simple, drumbeat keeps this song going as Shawn's vocals fill the stream of music with a sound of immediate glory. Every brilliant chorus is followed by a short rest and into the second verse, and the bridge which involves a steady, very quiet drum-roll that gets your attention until Jons whispers come in and make the bridge perfect. The highlight here has to be the lyrics in the chorus, because the only thing that can make the song better at this point are the details of how hard these guys can rock. "Sweating in the dark, we're freed, as the weight of the week, falls away with a thud." fucking brilliant. 5/5
Chain Me Free
Ranks in as the poppiest song on the album, but has one hell of a solo. Lyrics tell about meeting a girl that makes your life complete. "Chain me free, lose the key." Surprisingly, the vocals here kind of annoy me in the chorus, but are perfect in the verses.The highlight here is the solo.
Not very long, but its what makes this song one of the standout tracks.
No letdowns just yet. 4/5
This song's lyrics in a nutshell are simple. A guy thats a total lowlife and wasted his life on nothing. This is another one of the favorites off the album, and is a little change of pace for the cd so far. The verse consists of Jon adding a bunch of vocals, which sounds quite nice. And he comes back with a great damn riff for the chorus that grabs your attention. Very nice fills by Matt's part in the bridge and we see another very short solo, but not as impressive as the predecessor. Great, great tune, and you can never afford to skip this one. 5/5
The first half of this song is something very different, we can hear one acoustic guitar and Shawn's vocals give a kind of....Sailor feel. I know, it sounds weird, but listen to it, and youll know what I mean. Im still not sure what any of these lyrics mean, as they can be really stupid and actually funny in the verses ("Lyin' behind Venetian blinds, in the depth of summertime hiding from the asshole sun???") but the song pulls you in with the extemely cathcy chrous. Ater a while, youll want to skip over this song frequently, in other words, this song tends to expire 3.5/5
More Than Local Boys
This is a more calm track, but it stands out a lot, in my opinion. The intro/main riff is quite memorable, and it includes another great solo in Jon's part. Shawn does a tremendous job with his lyrics. Tells about how The Matches came to be and how they got big. "We make noise, What else could we choose? We're gonna be more than local boys And shake The dust off these shoes". Another track you just cant afford to skip. And it gives the album an addition of a feel or mood that gives you an idea of how much The Matches can really do. 4.5/5
Not very proud to review this one. This song consists of Shawn "trying" to give the song a kind of hip-hop-ish feel, and thats ok with me, but then they completely ditch that idea for the chorus, and continue with a heavier style of sound. This song is good to listen to for the chorus which is fairly catchy, but it seems like they mixed too many variables into one little song and it appears to be too cramped with confusing transitions. I guess maybe the skip button may have meaning now...2/5
Forget about that little bump in the road, cause the partys back on. This track delivers. The intro consists of an incredibly sweet riff that gets your foot tapping, and leads the song right into the first verse. Shawn tells us about a very special date with a very special girl. "'Cause Mother would trip if she saw the way that girl wears her clothes to the L3 shows."
Jons guitar wails throughput the whole song, and Matt and Justin follow right behind with awesome rythmic material. The chorus really blows me away, with the guitar and vocals. "I got my fingers crossed She'll say "18" This has to be the best song on the album along with Audio Blood. Enjoy, and dont wear out that repeat button.:) 5/5
The Jack Slap Cheer
If youre like me, youll immediatley think of blink when you listen to this song. It seems like if you were to replace Shawn with Mr. Delonge, it would clearly seem like a classic blink song. I say this cause of the catchy raunchy lyrics and the simple but great guitar work. This song tells about one hell of a white trash family, and how in some ways, they have nowhere to go. "Your mom ainít home, she's out stripping for your education. Your dad's out marching for the NRA. I'm so damn bored, I'm crawling out of my skin. The devil's got more room to play." This is probably one of the faster-paced songs on the album, and I dare you to listen to it just once.
Destination Nowhere Near
Where will these guys stop??? Theres no sign of slowing down as they introduce a roadtrip song into the picture, and even better, a bass and harmonica solo!!!! What else would you want from these guys. This track pulls you in further and further into the album. As always, the lyrics come into play perectly, explaining the song in such detail that makes the tune complete."The world is moving everywhere but here, so load the van. Destination: Nowhere Near." Like i said, the bass tands out a lot in this song, and you can finally associate with every member very clearly. 4/5
Sick Little Suicide
Another one of the favorites. The creeping intro gets it going. And i truly admire the drumbeat that keeps the verse in place. the great guitar leads you into the catchy chorus that explains what the song means. 'There's a sick little suicide in all that we do... you decide, which one's for you!?"
The rest after the second chorus gives you a second to get yourself together from that daze youre in, and the song hands you another brilliant solo. The song fades out with the chorus being repeated over and over, and by this time, I already knew there was gonna be a Matches review with my name on it. 5/5
If you were to remove Shawns vocals from this one, it wouldnt sound like The Matches at all. This a very strange acoustic track. But I cant help to say that it IS a great closing for an album. The vocals include all of the band members singing, and to me it seems like theyre all spazzing out. And all the chorus is is a girl humming very softly. Very eerie, but at this point, you could have seen anything coming from The Matches. 4/5
Well, what can I say, after hearing the whole album, I was truly speechless, The Matches put pop-punk into a position that anybody can enjoy, and relate to. if youre a fan of Motion City Soundtrack, Letter Kills, Matchbook Romance, or From First To Last, then i suggest you go out and buy this album very soon. As you can see, I wasnt dissapointed one tiny bit, and im sure no one else thats a fan of the genre will be either. Enjoy. 4.5/5