The Matches
Decomposer


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mark A. CONTRIBUTOR (72 Reviews)
April 1st, 2014 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Decomposer is the sound of The Matches maturing their sound, but not so much that they lose the fun attitude present in their music.

While it doesn't always guarantee an excellent result, one can generally tell the potential of a band by how many well-known names are pining to attach their names to a release. Production credits from people like Tim Armstrong (Rancid), Mark Hoppus (Blink-182), and Brett Gurewitz (Bad Religion) gave Decomposer a pre-packaged seal of approval and high expectations. Luckily, The Matches deliver with some of the most diverse and entertaining pop punk that has come out the past decade. Armed with larger-than-life pop punk choruses and electronic leanings, the band haphazardly slap together these elements while still somehow retaining a cohesive sound. In addition to the eclectic influences present on Decomposer, there is also a maturation of The Matches both in songwriting and lyricism that present a starkly different band from the one witnessed on older songs like "Jack Slap Cheer" and "Chain Me Free".

It's fairly obvious from the beginning of Decomposer that this is a versatile band; "Salty Eyes" boasts an acoustic guitar and a pretty orchestral arrangement that showcases vocalist Shawn Harris' passionate wails, as he swings from a deep intonation to a beautiful falsetto. As far the instruments are concerned, there is a strong bass presence throughout and none of the members outshine the other, creating a more cohesive sound than the guitar-centric E. Von Dahl Killed the Locals. The energy is let loose on "Drive", complete with glitchy electronics and an arresting chorus, and really shows the interesting dichotomy that is present through the album. The Matches are able to convey a sense of experimentation throughout the entirety of Decomposer while still employing stadium-sized choruses and a good amount of guitar distortion. It essentially allows for the whole affair to have a familiar appeal to pop-punk fans while still grabbing in more interest from people who wouldn't normally touch the genre with a ten-foot pole. It's hard to deny the instantly memorable line of "May your organs fail/Before your dreams fail you" delivered with such conviction and positively dripping with sarcasm at the same time, and this is how The Matches are able to create such fun tracks that always attach a brooding, self-deprecating undertone.

With all of the strides that The Matches take in creating a more complete album this time around, they are still some songs that fall flat on Decomposer. "You (Don't Know)" employs a chorus that is both irritating and catchy, which is one of the worst combinations in music. The album is also a bit front-loaded, with some of the mid-tempo numbers that come later in the track listing sounding flat and uninteresting. Harris' vocals will undoubtedly be unappealing to some turned off by his theatrical delivery, but this is a band that has morphed from just another pop-punk band to a band that tastefully pays homage to both its past and the influences that inspired them to play music in the first place. Decomposer is the sound of The Matches maturing their sound, but not so much that they lose the fun attitude present in their music.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
cryptside
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


2232 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Whoo, thirty reviews on here. I love this album so much.

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cryptside
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


2232 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Constructive criticism is appreciated, as always.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


20358 Comments


excellent review man! I gotta check this out now

one small fix in summary/last sentence of review. (just missing the word "they" before the word lose) You also use the word sound twice in that sentence and i think it would read better if you worded it a little differently.

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Calc
April 1st 2014


12581 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I

Love

This

Album.

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cryptside
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


2232 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fixed, thanks Atari. I will re-word it after work; agree with you there as well. I always miss the most obvious mistakes when writing (still! lol). Thanks man!

cryptside
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


2232 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dude, me too. This album is the tits. I just thought the whole thing was amazing.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


20358 Comments


No worries man, they were just minor mistakes I noticed so figured I'd let you know.

This sound pretty unique so far. I'm getting an 80's vibe on the second track

cryptside
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


2232 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah man, the little electronics push into quite a few of the songs; my favorites are "Little Maggots" and "What Katie Said". The last one is pretty cool as well.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


20358 Comments


ya i liked both the songs you mentioned. I'm curious what their previous album sounds like

cryptside
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


2232 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Eh, it's fun. Just not as diverse. I like it okay, but this was a huge step up in my opinion.

Calc
April 1st 2014


12581 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is their best imo but their last album isn't too shabby either.

cryptside
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


2232 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I haven't checked that one yet, Calc. I'll have to look into it.

dimsim3478
April 1st 2014


5945 Comments


good band. my fave two tracks from them are off a band in hope tho

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