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The Matches
Epitaph Records

Oakland, California quartet The Matches have returned with their second release Decomposer, following their debut album E. Von Dahl Killed The Locals from 2004. Their power punk debut is followed by more power punk entities embellished by elements of orchestral tones, modern rock, and ska. The album has an unprecedented nine producers including Tim Armstrong of Rancid, Mark Hoppus of Blink 182, John Feldmann of Goldfinger, Nick Hexum of 311, and Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion and founder of Epitaph Records. Decomposer is an excellent assortment of ilks, but has everything that other bands have offered before them.

Band members Shawn Harris (singer/guitarist), Jon Devoto (guitarist), Justin San Souci (bassist), and Matt Whalen (drummer) have the power punk dynamics and mischief of Patent Pending, the virile energy of Matchbox Romance, and the modern melodic rock tethers of The Format. The opening track "Salty Eyes" has a Cursive string structuring sewn into the modern rock textures. The charging guitar cathodes and tempo changes on tracks like "Papercut Skin" and "Didi (My Doe Part 2)" are arranged with animated vocals that make the songs magnetic and give the listener a rush. The ska versed rhythms on "What Katie Said" have a semblance to Less Than Jake and the high powered swirling action on "Lazier Than Furniture" has a Bouncing Souls' push.

The Matches incorporate radical movements into the melodies like squealing rattles in "You (Don't) Know Me" and sharp chord squeezes in "Little Maggots." Their forms of artistry embellish their songs with aspects that are familiar to audiences from the emo-punk rock set. Chords are tensed and stretched to fluctuate the patterns, but all in all the movements have similarities to a host of punk rock flag staffs like Finch, The Ataris, Pennywise, and Guttermouth.

The Matches' music has reflections of the producers who worked on their album, from the charging drum motions to the guitar imbroglias. What the Matches do contribute to Decomposer is their brand of mischief and high energy; otherwise, the album is the straight punk rock you can find in a number of bands from Vans Warped Tour.

-Susan Frances

Track listing:
1. Salty Eyes
2. Drive
3. Papercut Skin
4. Clumsy Heart
5. Little Maggots
6. What Katie Said
7. Sunburn vs. The Rhinovirus
8. Lazier Than Furniture
9. Didi (My Doe Part 2)
10. You (Don't) Know Me
11. My Soft & Deep
12. Shoot Me In The Smile
13. The Barber's Unhappiness

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