"Let's Do Something New"
How often is this phrase heard in pop-punk? Rarely at all, since bands tend to stick to the same formula of power-chords and catchy choruses to make there money. But Matchbook Romance, went into there recording sessions with this in mind and it makes for an interesting experience.
The album is a lot different from the first album. The singers voice tends to change to get a less whiny of a feel, and it makes for a more acceptable feel. The songs have more of a rock sound then a punk sound, but in the song writing are still very punk. This is very apparent in the opener "You Can Run, But We Will Find You", the song has a spooky electric beat were the vocalist lyrics take kind of a distorted background sound and it makes for a haunting and rewarding experience. This is were you realize that this band really is going to try something new and it could end up being a better album than expected. The song isn't epic, but it describes the experimental pop-punk album that this is going to be. 4/5
"Surrender", starts out with a quiet electric beat, and then comes in with a big bang as the electric guitar keeps up with the heavy drums. The lyrics are very emotional and even add a darker feel than what this album has already established. The chorus is a little bit softer than the supporting lines and it makes for a better experience, so now you can hear more of the lyrics than: "Let it go", while keeping the rocking beat. This is a good song and features one of the most memorable lines of the album in the chorus: "I'm tired of making love to a memory". 4/5
"My Mannequin Can Dance", seems like it's going to be different than anything we have heard before on the album with it's background electric guitar and loud drums, but it progresses to be even cooler. The beat somehow all comes though the lyrics are pretty generic and simple and repetitive, the changing of beat definitely makes this song worth a listen. And the chorus though like the previous two songs contains a weird emotion, though it has lackluster structure this song gets a 4.5/5 for it's experiment nature.
"Goody, Like Two Shoes", is a song that is kind of out of place for this albums quick 3 minute song nature, but by pop-punk standards it is near epic. The song has tons of beat changes throughout it's 7 minute frame, a well-executed chorus that seems to match the beat perfectly. There a few instrumental solo throughout the song, it's one of those songs that the real version would be 3 minute but the band decide to jam it out and make it a 7 minute song. This song is an overall enjoyable listen. 4.7/5
There's really no single that would appeal to a national audience on this album, but if there is a song that perfectly describes the album it's "Monsters". With it's haunted house feeling and clapping beat MR makes a nice song here. The surrounding lines get annoying because they are simple and sound all like background vocals. The chorus is the best on the album though and doesn't sound like any chorus on the album. 4/5
"Say It Like You Mean It", is one of my favorites off this album. In lyrical content it is the most deep and beautiful and it is also the softest right next to the closer "Wish You Were Here". The band intended this song to be an interlude calm after the storm song after "Monsters", but it ends up being a successful song. The guitar work though in the supporting lines can get annoying since it sounds like only one string is being played the whole time, but it ends up being a successful soft-loud song in the chorus. The chorus while simple contains the most emotion of any song on this album. A great song despite some instrumental difficulties. 4.6/5
"Portrait", goes back to the trends of the early parts of the album because while being experimental the song still lacks structure. Portrait features probably some of the most intense lyrics of the album and is one of the best produce songs of the album. Another soft-loud song that shows how much the band has matured. Not one of the best of the album, but one of the most intense. 3.7/5
"Singing Bridges", is probably one of the most laid back, non-experimental pop-punk songs of the album, and it sounds just like the second track. The lyrics sound whiny and like they were written and two minutes. Despite all this the song still contains a pretty strong chorus and the instrumental work gets a little better as the song goes on. Though the song still lacks emotion, it's still makes for a good occasional listen. 3.5/5
"Fiction", gets back to the albums intense secretive experimental style. The lyrics are intense since they are sang along together and the emotion is just great. The electric guitar and constantly banging drums fit in with this hard songs atmosphere beautifully. Though there is really no breakdown [and there are few on this album], this song still stands out because of it's sheer aggressiveness. 4.3/5
"What A Sight" sounds almost exactly like "Say It Like You Mean It", but with deeper lyrics and a less annoying beat. The only disappointment in this story telling song is the chorus were the singer sounds like a robot and the beat change going into the chorus is very minimal. The song production is a little bit screwed-up since the singers vocals are so distorted during the chorus, and I am sure the band didn't want it to be that way. Another good song by the band. 4.1/5
"I Wish You Were Here", is a beautiful last track for the album. The supporting lines go perfectly with the funeral dark beat that really doesn't have to change for this song to be successful. The song puts the album into perspective in the chorus, a hunger for something new with a mix of some of the old stuff. Which is exactly what this song is. And a beautiful song that shows that the band can create successful soft songs which many critics questioned after there 1st release, there are 4 soft songs on this album. But this song is sad, haunting, heavenly, and beautiful at the same time. The surrounding lines are definitely the best of the album. What a great end to a good album. 5/5
Matchbook Romance completely changed there style successfully, while still throwing in some of there old influences. The album proves that the band can rock hard and soft, and is really one of the surprise albums to come out this year.
Songs to download:
I Wish You Were Here
Say It Like You Mean It
Goody, Like Two Shoes