Matches A Band in Hope

The Matches are great at doing what no band will ever accomplish, or even attempt. These forward-thinking experimental rockers don’t fit into popular music, which might explain why they’ve been swept under the rug. On their third LP, their most raw and visceral to date, they are still unaffected by current trends. They write fast, romping, guitar hero squealing anthems ("Their City” or "Yankee in a Chip Shop”) alongside slow, swooping theatrical ballads ("From 24C”). Their first LP, E. Von Dahl Killed the Locals, was a quick, unnoticed display of unstoppable energy made up of fast pop punk songs, with hooks and ideas the size of North America. It hinted at something more original from Oakland’s hometown heroes. Then came Decomposer, with an army of name producers (Tim Armstrong, Mark Hoppus, Nick Hexum, etc.) it begged for attention, with its glockenspiel winding acoustic jaunts and crazy electronica-injected pop chaos. On A Band, we see them trading in their cheeky satire for some straight-up stories of lust and love, all tied together by a series of unanswered questions. We see the Matches at their fullest with instrumentals bursting ("Wake the Sun”) and at their emptiest, most minimal and seemingly hopeful ("Clouds Crash”). The Matches have orchestrated the soundtrack to our sometimes hazardous lives’ highs and lows, which the Matches embrace with the utmost musical integrity. (Epitaph)