Matchbook Romance
Stories and Alibis


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ian USER (106 Reviews)
December 16th, 2005 | 28 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


Pop-punk, a genre known for simplicity and songs that only offer hooks and catchiness to attract the listener. Well, I can finally say that there is a pop-punk band that doesn’t need these things to gain a crowd. That band is obviously Matchbook Romance. Sure their songs are full of hooks and are catchy as hell, but their latest album, Stories and Alibis, offers so much more. Intelligently written song structures and lyrics that individualize each and every song.


First off, the vocals from Andrew Jordan are very good and would fit any pop-punk band well. He only attempts any screaming twice, but it is mixed in the background incredibly low, which is refreshing because evidently it has become a trend for many pop-punk bands to think they have to include screaming in most of their songs to be “fresh", which is ridiculous. Lyrically, well, what do you expect, it’s pop-punk. Relationships are the central part of most songs, but the redeeming thing is that even though they are about the same subject, they don’t really ever say the same thing.


The guitar that is played by Ryan DePaolo is rather good considering the genre it is under. The leads that are played throughout Stories and Alibis are interesting and the riffs played are catchy, but actually don’t get repetitive ever surprisingly. She’ll Never Understand is a good example of that. The bass from Ryan Kienle is rather enjoyable throughout the album as evident in the My Eyes Burn single. Full of wonderful beats and short little lines throughout the album that so many pop-punk bands lack when they usually have the bass either mixed really low or just following a guitar part. The bass is used rather well in many songs, either to build up to a chorus or to introduce a song, it all works well with the bass. Same with the drums, they are used intelligently as well and have many fills throughout the album that are entertaining. Sometimes a really cool and slow double bass is used on some songs, including the album version of My Eyes Burn.


The title track Stories & Alibis, clocking in at 4:45, is one of the most powerful songs that I have ever heard. Lyrically it is very emotional with a powerful chorus. “Are you there? Give me something worth living for. Tell me a reason worth fighting for. Give me anything, anything to keep me breathing.". It is without a doubt, one of the most powerful choruses that I have ever heard. Musically it has a heavy set tone with fantastic guitar, bass, and drums that just continue to stand out throughout the whole song. This is without a doubt the premier of the album and the best pop-punk song ever written. I’m always glad to say in a review that a single for a band is a perfect representation of an album and happily, this is indeed one of those times. My Eyes Burn was this albums only single, but was quite popular for a while, and with good reason. It is one of the catchiest songs on the album and one of the most recognizable songs on the whole album, single or not. Playing for Keeps is about as generic you will get on this album. It seems more like screamo music from bands like Senses Fail. It is catchy, but not good catchy. Andrew’s singing on the verses will make the song more bearable, but overall it is just generic and the worst song on the album. A couple of other songs are like this such as Shadows Like Statues.


One of the few complaints that I have to make about this album is that I wish more of the songs weren’t about relationships, but hey, this is pop-punk after all. The only other things that are slightly bad is that some songs are a little boring, which causes the album to become a little repetitive. Besides, I should just take what I can get. Variety is shown on the album with the inclusion of an acoustic song called Tiger Lily, which is a fantastic acoustic song and something I wasn’t expecting on this album. With such standouts as Stories & Alibis, My Eyes Burn, and then Promise this album just screams to the top of the mountains that Matchbook Romance are the kings of pop-punk. Fans of Motion City Soundtrack will gobble this album up, because it is just like them except catchier, less repetitive, and less zany. In the world of pop-punk this is a classic, but compared to other genres such as metal and (classic) rock, this is a 3. So as a combined score of both I think that this deserves an excellent (4 out of 5) rating.



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user ratings (184)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Storm In A Teacup
December 16th 2005


13167 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What the hell? Someone voted yes on it, before I could edit it, when it was unreadable. :confused:

innerdark
December 16th 2005


749 Comments


must you submit after me every, single,time?

good reviw though, timing lacked tact though

Zebra
Moderator
December 16th 2005


2647 Comments


Meh I'd give this a 3/5. Some of these songs are very catchy and well done but others are just too gimmicky.

Good review as usual, you described this album very well, nice work.

Jawaharal
December 16th 2005


1832 Comments


This review wasn't that good. All you talked about was the instruments and how catchy it was. Not very helpful.This Message Edited On 12.16.05

Storm In A Teacup
December 16th 2005


13167 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You never like my reviews. I talked about more than the instruments and how catchy it was- which, in fact the entire album isn't catchy-I never said that. Read it again.

Jawaharal
December 16th 2005


1832 Comments


You never like my reviews. I talked about more than the instruments and how catchy it was- which, in fact the entire album isn't catchy-I never said that. Read it again.

Neither did I.

I don't like your style. Its choppy and dull. Sure its descriptive but not helpful.

Storm In A Teacup
December 16th 2005


13167 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

In a way you did.

Can't please everybody. Oh well.

Zebra
Moderator
December 16th 2005


2647 Comments


Short, choppy, dull reviews are the most effective reviews IMO. If I wanted to read something with extreme detail I would read a Tom Clancy novel.

I think reviews should be short, too the point, and easy to read. The main reason why I read reviews is too learn about what a band/album sounds like, not to read a lot of clever and witty analogies.



labonza01
December 16th 2005


546 Comments


i love this band. Your stories my alibies is the best song on the album. good reveiw, i agree with it

SyphonAss
December 16th 2005


141 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

ya...this band is right up there with Simple Plan and GC.... so there not very
good. I heard this cd in a cd store and there music is still as winey and bad
musically as they've ever beenThis Message Edited On 12.16.05

kolzig33189
December 16th 2005


335 Comments


matchbook is basically the same as sp and gc as syphonass said but not on the radio station or mtv every two seconds. but there still not good

(>dragon~guitarist<)
December 17th 2005


243 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Good review, mediocre band...

Come to think of it, there are some parts in the album that reamind me of Senses Fail for some odd reason... This Message Edited On 12.17.05

Storm In A Teacup
February 11th 2006


13167 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can't wait for their new album, Voices. I hear it's an improvement over this album.

radianteclipse
March 8th 2006


397 Comments


Listening to this album compared to "Voices" is sickening. If they had the chance to scrap this album from existance I think it would be a wise idea to go through with that.

Storm In A Teacup
March 8th 2006


13167 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They are definitely different. Please no more commenting on this review.

STFDood84
March 8th 2006


179 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sorry, had to comment...

Voices shats on this, unequivocally. It's a far more original and varied recording, and the hooks are more mature and less blatant. This album isn't even as strong as West For Wishing, actually... the first track is quite good but these songs are soooooooo old (they were playing them back in '97-98 when they were Fizzlewink/The Getaway)... not to mention the singing and lyrics are sooooooooo cliche and have been done by like 5000 other bands. There's a couple of decent tracks here and there but it's too derivative for a 4. It's just boring and the whiny acoustic crap they do makes me wanna throw up with how pussy it is. Thank God they grew some balls. 2.5/5 for me.

scarydylan
March 23rd 2006


21 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

jeees guys, bit harsh. but i have to admit, the album ain't fantastic, especially tiger lily. thats the weak link. but still cool down the comments!

nutty_bar
July 16th 2006


194 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

For the genre this is probably one of the best CD's. Every musician has his "guilty pleasures" and I have to consider this one of mine. After speaking against pop-punk on various occasions, I think this is a good cd. Their new cd on the other hand, sucks.

I thought the review was well written too, I don't know why these people are nagging on you.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2006


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Nah, their newer one owns this.

foreverendeared
November 8th 2006


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the thing about this album is MR does not seem to know what style music they are. they are kinda all over the (different kinds of rock genres) place at the same time... in a bad way. that's the only negative though.... great band. good review



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