Matchbook Romance
Voices


3.0
good

Review

by Ian USER (108 Reviews)
February 16th, 2006 | 21 replies | 2,393 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


4 of 5 thought this review was well written

If you asked me six months ago what I thought of pop-punk, I would have said that all bands in that specific genre sucked, and that they all write their records to try and appeal to the mainstream. This is true for some bands, but in the last couple of months I’ve come to realize how wrong I have been in my thinking. I’ve grown to let go of such pre-mature thoughts, and listen to any band, while being open to whether, or not they are good. Well, when I heard Matchbook Romance’s second single, My Eyes Burn, I knew that I had to own their album, “Stories and Alibis". After purchasing it, I thought the whole album was drearily boring at first, but then I knew I needed to be more accepting, and not so critical of something. Eventually, the album grew on me, and I actually started to take quite a fancy the band. Most of the songs were catchy, and had some nice, although simple, instrumentation to them.

Well, here we are a couple years later after the release of “Stories and Alibis". I was excited, as well as curious what the new album, “Voices", would sound like, and I must admit, I was once again disappointed, but after a few more listens, the album grew on me. About every song on “Stories and Alibis" was catchy, and upbeat. The guitar playing was simple, and the signing was too. Here on “Voices", that completely changes. There is literally no chorus on most of the songs, and the band actually depends on musical quality to attract the listener. That quality however, isn’t very technical, but is a definite improvement over the bands previous album. The use of soloing is even present in the single, Monsters, which is probably the best choice of being a first single because it’s one of the few catchy songs, but it is also clearly darker than most of Matchbook Romance’s other workings.

Andrew Jordan’s singing has improved, even though it is less catchy, and is somewhat like the lead singer of 30 Seconds To Mars. He has more control over his voice for the whole album, particularly on songs such as What A Sight, Monsters, and You Can Run, But We’ll Find You. To end “Voices", there are two consecutive ballads. The first is called Wish You Were Hear, and the other is an acoustic, hidden track. Both are simple, but Andrew’s singing is attractive, and the nice, quiet (acoustic) guitar is soothing. The two songs are a truly proper way to end “Voices". The largest surprise of all is that Matchbook Romance attempted to write an epic, seven-minute song called Goody, Like Two Shoes. The end result is mixed. The song is solid, but fails to differentiate from the rest of “Voices". The middle of the song has a “pop-punk breakdown", and is followed with the use of a violin. It is certainly interesting at times, but just doesn’t truly grab my attention.

The whole sound of “Voices" is somewhat depressing. It would appear that Matchbook Romance went for more something of a gothic, pop-punk feel for the record, and ended with It’s nice to see that there isn’t as much of a repetitive feel on here as there was for “Stories and Alibis". It’s also cool to see that the album is actually a whole hour long too. The only true bad thing about “Voices" is that there are no real standout tracks. Most songs are only slightly above average even with the slight improvement in the guitar playing, but the guitar does stand out with fast, and hooky playing on many songs, including, Surrender, and My Mannequin Can Dance. Compared to “Stories and Alibis" this is a letdown, but as a whole, uninfluenced by the bands other work, this still is a good album, and is worth it to check out, if only to see that the band is at least trying to be original.


Pros:
+ The band’s attempt to be slightly unique is to be admired.
+ The guitar playing has advanced.
+ “Voices" is not as repetitive as “Stories and Alibis"…

Cons:
- …but repetitiveness is still there.
- There are some great songs on here, but nothing close to being of superb quality.
- Not too many songs would work as singles, therefore not guaranteeing commercial success.

Top Songs:

Monsters: Because of a cool guitar solo, and vocal styling, this single should definitely be checked out.

Fiction: It is probably my favorite song for the fast paced, punk guitar playing, and catchy singing.

Goody, Like Two Shoes: Props to the band for stepping outside the “pop-punk box" and writing a seven-minute song,

Kripes’ gives Matchbook Romance’s, “Voices", a conditional recommendation.


“Was it all you hoped it would be?"-You Can Run, But We'll Find You

Not really, but the end result is still acceptable.



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user ratings (198)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Blair Chopin (4)
...

STFDood84 (3.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Storm In A Teacup
February 16th 2006



12688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, I was bone-headed then.
The typos were fixed.

STFDood84
February 16th 2006



179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think you should listen a little closer to the emotive chord voicings, less reliance on basic power chord work, almost classical overtures popping in here and there, or the general feel of tension and aggression in the songs. Listen to some Gatsby's American Dream, they're a pop-punk band that's as techy as the Danger Room without having to shred at all. Different tastes I guess.

The dynamics all throught the album are fantastic, especially in songs like "Goody", "My Mannequin Can Dance", "Monsters, "... f*ck, most of the album. Technicality doesn't make a song regardless. The riffs are very melodic in themselves (have you ever written a catchy song yourself? It's sooooooo easy isn't it?:lol, and pretty intricate, with some rather clever guitar interplay without having to rely much on the tired Iron Maiden-biting of today's "heavy" bands. Ryan DePaolo is a pretty decent guitarist too. They don't need to riff at a 100 miles an hour to be technically proficient. They're definitely very good at what they do and are, in my opinion, far more ambitious than most pop-core bands ever are.

Storm In A Teacup
February 17th 2006



12688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

[quote=STFDood84]Yeah, I commented in it. It was decently written but it didn't go into a lot of the changes that the band went through in the record. Everyone should give it a listen and then opinionate.[/quote]I reviewed the album, not the changes.
[quote=STFDood84]Technicality doesn't make a song regardless.[/quote] Did I say that? I don't think I did.

Two-Headed Boy
February 17th 2006



4527 Comments


How do you do bold in a review? *backs away of shame
Nice review otherwise, very detailed. I've only heard the single Monsters, and I can't listen to it very long.

Storm In A Teacup
February 17th 2006



12688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

[quote=some kid]How do you do bold in a review? *backs away of shame[/quote][ b ]killamanjaro[ / b ] killamanjaro
Without the spaces. If you want italics, replace the b with an i, for underlining words put u.

innerdark
February 17th 2006



749 Comments


weird format for you, but a good review

CushMG15
February 17th 2006



1802 Comments


I own their EP, West for Wishing, and I must say it pretty much turned me off of this band immediately. The singing is soooooo whiny, its terrible.

Kripes - It sounds as if he's lost that whiny tone. Is this true?

Storm In A Teacup
February 17th 2006



12688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well, it's still whiny, but it's more controlled, and not out there like it had been.

(>dragon~guitarist<)
February 20th 2006



243 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Glassjaw? Nah I dont think so, but it does sound less whiny though.

STFDood84
February 20th 2006



179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I definitely hear a LOT of Nick Newsham (GAD) and Matt Bellamy (Muse) with the singing and vocal arrangements... especially in "You Can Run..." and "Portrait" at times. I love it though... the band has definitely matured musically. When they crank out the hard-edge pop punk tunes like "Surrender" they f*cking RAWWWWWWWK it out. It's just a great rock album, but Andrew needs to not try to be Thom Yorke. The secret track really killed the end of the album worse than the boring last track, but the first 2/3rd of it... pop eargasm.

Check out my review for a different take on it.

labonza01
February 23rd 2006



546 Comments


good review, i see you've changed your style a little bit. I heard monsters and i wasn't too impressed, it actually kind of annoyed me because of the weird synth-like effects i heard on the guitar. I couldnt even finish the song. i liked stories and alibis alot, but im not too sure i want to hear this one

STFDood84
February 24th 2006



179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Check out "Surrender", "You Can Run" or "My Mannequin" dude... they can most definitely bring the rock.

Storm In A Teacup
February 24th 2006



12688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

[quote=labonza]good review, i see you've changed your style a little bit.[/quote]Thanks, man. I haven't really changed it, the way this one was done is a one time thing.

burton.and.gas
February 24th 2006



641 Comments


dude i usually ahte bands with romacne in teh name but tshi labum has amde me see what abnds can go on to do. It wud fit better in post punk section lol.

Storm In A Teacup
March 10th 2006



12688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

No, it wouldn't fit better in the post-punk section at all. Matchbook Romance is definitely pop-punk.

STFDood84
March 11th 2006



179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I concur w/Vheissu. Genre tags are stupid and marginalize the music. There's a lot of prog/rock/post-hardcore flirtation going on anyways, so to call them pop-punk is a bit of a cop-out. Voices is waaaaaaaay more unique and original than any of their older, generic screamo stuff anyways...

Riley12988
March 11th 2006



109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You can definitely tell they are almost blatantly ripping off a lot of their influences. Muse, Thrice, and a little taste of the new Boys' Night Out are just a few examples. It's still a good album, though.

tellallyourfriends
March 12th 2006



12 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I though this album was great. Especially "Fiction", even if it is a bit MCR-ish



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