The Matches | Decomposer (Epitaph)

Like Tony Sinclair urges, always in moderation.


You would think an album that boasts nine different producers would sound like sonic mess, if not an aural hurricane, but somehow the Matches make it work. What is most surprising is the fact that none of the nine producers belong to any of the current crop of Fueled by Ramen/Pete Wentz signings. Instead, producers like Rancid's Tim Armstrong, blink-182's Mark Hoppus, 311's Nick Hexum, and Bad Religion/Epitaph founder Brett Gurewitz offered to produce and even play on a few songs. Not bad for a band that didn't have a deal in place when recording.

The album opens with the track "Salty Eyes," a waltzy tune that incorporates strings, organs, timpanis, and (gasp!) a vibraphone. Hardly your typical instruments in emo-pop-punk music, but I can't help but want to listen to this song on more than one occasion. But just when you think that this album might actually sound different than the rest of the pop-punk-emo bands out there, you hear the rest of the album and you're quickly reminded that it wasn't meant to be. While some of the songs are quite catchy and very radio friendly ("Papercut Skin," "Clumsy Heart," and "What Katie Said"), they're still relatively the same old pop-punk songs you've heard by now. "Shoot Me in the Smile" sounds as if bits of it was plucked right from the Snakes on a Plane theme song, while "You (Don't) Know Me" sounds like a Transplants' cast off. Guess which producer was involved with this one?

By the second half of the album, you'll want to dye your hair black, wear overly trendy black clothes, style your hair in a manner befitting the Flock of Seagulls "I Ran" video, and lament about life on your LiveJournal/MySpace blogs. Overall it's not a bad album, but like Tony Sinclair urges, always in moderation.

RIYL: Panic! at the Disco, The Academy Is, Motion City Soundtrack

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