Review: Matchbook Romance

Matchbook Romance
“Stories and Alibis”

I was just talking to my friend Hailey.  She’s going to law school at BYU.  How brutal is that?  Mormons everywhere, encroaching on every little bit of her life until all she sees are their syrupy smiles and backhanded compliments.  Only slightly less alarming is the current emocore invasion.  There are more emocore bands than you can shake your goatee at, spewing their sappy swill throughout the airwaves.

I am happy to report that Matchbook Romance is neither Mormon nor sappy and “Stories and Alibis” should be in your player right now.  Seriously, go and get it because every second that you’re without it you’re life is worse than poor Hailey’s, and that’s saying a lot.

Taking a page from Taking Back Sunday, Matchbook Romance’s songs combine subtle rebukes with strident immediacy to create a swirling, multi-layered sound full of broken relationships and yesterday’s regrets.  “Playing for Keeps” dynamic mixture of full-throated vocals and haunting harmonies contrasts sharply with the screamed lyric, “You’re as welcome as cancer, but my door is always unlocked.”

While the pummeling drumming of Aaron Stern (kid’s so good he’s retarded) drives the beats, it’s the tenor of Andrew Jordan that sweeps itself above and below the music in an effortlessly crashing wave that really sets this release apart from so many of the pretenders in the genre.  Think of Hailey while you’re listening to this one, because she misses the beach and the beach misses her.