Matchbook Romance - Stories and Alibis (Cover Artwork)

Matchbook Romance

Matchbook Romance: Stories and AlibisStories and Alibis (2003)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: AubinAubin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

There has certainly been a lot of talk about this band. Discovered from an innocuous posting on a website, and quickly signed to the biggest independent label in the world, not to mention a popular EP and a stint on this summer's Warped Tour. This young band has a great deal to be proud of. T.
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There has certainly been a lot of talk about this band. Discovered from an innocuous posting on a website, and quickly signed to the biggest independent label in the world, not to mention a popular EP and a stint on this summer's Warped Tour. This young band has a great deal to be proud of.

Their debut release, released in April of this year was not exactly critically acclaimed, but it built them a strong audience; for me, it was far too derivative, and in spite of the bands obvious musical prowess, a wealth of melodramatic lyrics and an all too common sound left me unimpressed.

So, a few short months later, the band releases their first full length, and how does it fare?

Well, to be honest, it's a marked improvement over the West for Wishing. The band seems like it is closer to finding it's voice, and the songs are tighter, and the vocals more natural sounding than the forced delivery on the EP. It still conjures up the sounds of their contemporaries like the Deftones-lite of Finch, or even early Saves the Day.

But while their sound is clearly derivative of those bands, they manage to do it better than most. Take the first "real" track on the CD, "Your Stories, My Alibis" which opens with an extended instrumental and hits a decent pace, though it does seem like it could benefit from releasing some of the energy the band is holding down beneath the track. Of course, on the essentially acoustic "Tiger Lily" the band awakens it's lingering modern rock sensibilities with a track tailor made for radio play, probably somewhere near a Dashboard Confessional song.

The biggest flaw of the record in my mind, is probably also the potential strength of their next. Primarily, that the energy on the record seems unnaturally restrained; I'm not expecting them to turn into a hardcore band, but each track carries the promise of an explosion, but never delivers. It makes a generally catchy record quite a bit frustrating.

As a whole, it's a better record than their EP delivered, in fact, it's a more promising band than the EP suggested, but the lack of follow through on some of the more interesting ideas, as well as the fundamentally overplayed nature of the sound were disappointing. On the other hand, the excellent musicianship, incredible production and growth over the past year suggest that you keep an eye on this band.


People who liked this also liked:
Fall Out Boy - From Under The Cork TreeAtreyu - A Death-Grip on YesterdayAtreyu - The CurseSpitalfield - Better Than Knowing Where You AreBetween the Buried and Me - The Anatomy OfNights Like These - The FaithlessGatsbys American Dream - Gatsbys American DreamA Change of Pace - Prepare the MassesAlexisonfire - CrisisGym Class Heroes - As Cruel as School Children

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
crazytoledo (August 24, 2006)

Every year I have one huge guilty pleasure that I completly eat up. 2006 was Roses Are Red's 'What Became of Me.' 2005 was Lovehatehero's 'Just Breathe.' This album covered 2003/2004.

And I actually liked this before I even had an idea what emo was. That was awhile ago...

I_love_Toe (May 31, 2006)

i got a say i like the band and the cd but they fucked it up with lovers and liars

I_love_Toe (May 31, 2006)

i got a say i like the band and the cd but they fucked it up with lovers and liars

iheartpink (November 30, 2005)

Really my favorite band out there.

Anonymous (November 24, 2005)

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Anonymous (October 25, 2004)

love this cd. great lyrics.

Anonymous (October 15, 2004)

if you like blink 182, the starting line, and new found glory, check out this really awesome band Stanley. listen to them at this link: www.purevolume.com/stanley

drummadict (September 16, 2004)

this band fuckin rocks

Anonymous (September 15, 2004)

for any matchbook romance fans who might be reading this go to www.chartattack.com and enter the contest currently running. Thanx for your feedback and good luck!

Anonymous (July 16, 2004)

Everyone can screw off if they don't like this CD- it's great and filled with emotion and different music, different then other stuff I've heard.

It took me a while to warm up to it- when you first listen to it, you think it's weird because of how different it is. Then you realize how great it is.

Anonymous (June 25, 2004)

bad try from epitaph to earn much money with the trend music emo/screamo! live are they ok

J-Quist182 (June 15, 2004)

I loved this CD.... a very uprising cd. I was wondering through my friends computer and I found this band under some of the stuff he had and I listened to them and became instantly in love with them. My favorite songs so far our "Promise" and :Tiger Lily" Not really Epitaph material but eh its about time epitaph gets some variety.

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

it was a sad, sad day when epitaph released this worthless pile of shit. fuck i got it for $6 at a used store and went and returned it. yes folks, its that bad. disgustingly awful might actually be a better way to descibe it. avoid at ALL costs.

Anonymous (March 5, 2004)

This album is awesome. All the lyrics come from Andy,the lead singer, and experiences he sees and has experienced personally. I am really good friends of these guys and they r so true to the music. they play for the music. this album is just a preview of whats to come. check these guys out on tour now with fallout boy and this yrs warped tour

Anonymous (February 24, 2004)

I LOVE this album. i listen to it religiously. I saw matchbook romance in concert just last december. ive loved them ever since. the lyrics and music is original. you can really relate to what the guys are singing about. i definately recomend this album to everyone!! purchasing the cd is so worth it!

Anonymous (September 29, 2003)

Blinks old drummer, scott raynor, was pretty frickin' ugly. And dude ranch still went gold. They definitely werent a boy band. then. oh yeah, dont spend any of your money here. Go get the new michelle branch and pick up some nelly. And if you really want to be punk, go pick up some wristbands from hollister. They are the Coolest. I fart on Matchbook Romance.

- Mike

Anonymous (September 29, 2003)

I've heard it and the word "amazing" doesn't come to mind, the first word that enters my mind is "boring"


Anonymous (September 28, 2003)

so how many of you actually listened to the cd? most of you haters probally havent even listened to it and are just taking other peoples review on it. this cd is amazing

Anonymous (September 27, 2003)

Lousy Cd and and an even worse live band!

Anonymous (September 27, 2003)

I bought this last week and listened to it once and returned it for a FATA CD.

Matchbbook Romance let me down!

Anonymous (September 26, 2003)

What would you expect from a label that spends more time & money throwing parties then seeking out & promoting good bands, hell, I've been to two Epi party's in the last week!

keep the booze flowing.....

Anonymous (September 26, 2003)

Damn, You hate the nail on the head!

They are nothing but a screamo boy band!

And he's the Svengali of boy band punk!

I used to really support Epitaph back in the day. Now I would rather spend my $$ on the real deal.

Anonymous (September 26, 2003)

You know, being in a proffesional band myself, Im sick of seeing all this lou perlman esk bullshit going on right now. The label will just pick up some pretty faces that fit the bill, and cash in. And its sincerely dissapointing to see that epitaph is buying into this method of madness. If the biggest punk label in the world is picking up "boy bands" (cause thats really what they are,) what the hell do we have to look forward to? Sure there will always be an underground, but is there nothing to put trust into anymore? I mean, fucking epitaph.... come on. That fucking label has more money than god, this is just flat out GREED, and its infested the punk scene for way too long. My passion for music is lying there bleeding on the floor and bands like Good Charolette, Blink 182, and of course Matchbook Romance are sitting in plain view holding the rifle. Its just depressing that it had to come this far. Lou Perlman, whoops i mean brett guerwitz needs to be put to fucking sleep, you greedy fuck.

Anonymous (September 26, 2003)

Wake me up when this dud is over...

Anonymous (September 26, 2003)

wow, you'd actually be pretty damn original if the exact same thing wasn't said when the review first went up!

Anonymous (September 26, 2003)

this album cover looked better when it was called "sing the sorrow" eariler this year.

notfeelingcreative (September 25, 2003)

HA HA HA he called it "homocore! I'll have to remember that one! But, yeah, i'm not digging it!

inagreendase (September 25, 2003)

yeah they do

and ap.n

sk8punx4evr (September 25, 2003)

do they thank punknews.org in the liner notes? that'd be shitty if they didn't.

bloodsucker (September 25, 2003)

In response to a posting below saying that AFI started the book cover album cover, wrong! Try a punk band from a few years back called the Wynona Riders (on lookout). They started it. Although it does look cool on the Matchbook album.

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

sounds like you eat a lot of shit lately!!

WackyWabbit (September 25, 2003)

the only bad i like on epitaph now is motion city....all the rest have either left or are not around anymore. My favorite one Union 13 is now on that guy from U.S. Bombs label, epitaph has signed alot of shit latelly

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

This is some damn good HOMOCORE!

Anyone for a hot game of "touch football"???

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

Drive-thru is not an independent label. I do agree that most of epitaphs later signings have not done much for me...NOFX, Rancid, Bad Religion and Pennywise were good choices back in the day....best ones since in my mind are Raised Fist and Death By Stereo.

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

let's see, when epitaph started, brett had a great eye for talent, then all of the sudden it left him

in recent years the best 3 decisions that epitaph has made are weakerthans, motion city soundtrack, and resigning bad religion and brett rejoining it

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

I agree with the comment below, Epitaph signing the Weakerthans was a brilliant move and quite possibly one of the best signings to the label next to Tom Waits(Anti).

But when you hear crap like MBR it really makes you scratch your head and think damn anyone can get a record deal.. Stop chasing trends and find songwriters...

captaincrunch (September 24, 2003)

sorry callinglondon,

late 90's pop punk is what I would say from the songs i have heard and the way they performed when i saw them.

I hope that helps a little, i am bad at tagging genres on bands because i don't really ever stop to think about it.

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

despite what anyone says labels like Epitaph have made it possible for indie labels like victory, vagrant, and drive thru to be successful. . . epitaph has a slew of classic/great bands. recently they have branched out to other types of music signing awesome acts like ikara colt, sage francis, and the black keys, but why they had to go and sign a couple of cheesy ass emo bands i don't know, money i guess. this band sucks, emo is a fad, get over it

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

Gatsby's American Dream? Don't even mention them in this review. They SOAR over these guys.

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

Gatsby's American Dream? Don't even mention them in this review. They SOAR over these guys. This score is for Gatsby

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

nobody can say that epitaph has gone to shit. the weakerthans make up for this crappy band and all the other ones. and i mean, even with some really bad bands, they still have hwm, tiger army, all, the black keys, death by stereo, dkm, and raised fist. so while it's fashionable and all to rank on epitaph, i'm still a fan

p.s. this band really does suck though

CallingLondon (September 24, 2003)

all i was asking is if the other getaway is a punk band

applecore (September 24, 2003)

Gatsby's American Dream.

captaincrunch (September 24, 2003)

I saw Toronto's Getaway open for Danko Jones and Andrew WK last year in Londonm Ontario. They were nice guys and played some pretty decent music. I'd check em out again when they come to Detroit.

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

boring....... I streamed this garbage for two songs and couldn't take it anymore.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

I dont think people should be fighting over who inroduced these guys to the world. They were very mediocre when they were known as the Getaway and not much has changed other then the fact they stepped up the production on this CD.

At the end of the day they're a rather dull, contrived screamo band.

Spend your hard earned cash on the new
Lawrence Arms instead...

TheEvilMonkey (September 23, 2003)

Matchbook Romance used to be the Getaway, and this is the band that was supposedly discovered by Brett here, although Jason Tate seems to think he introduced them to the world. There is another Getaway in Toronto, and they already had rights to the name, thus the change from The Getaway To Matchbook Romance.

CallingLondon (September 23, 2003)

ok, i thought so, but aubin said "a website", not "this website". also, i could have sworn i've seen news for The Getaway quite recently. is the other Getaway a punk band?

inagreendase (September 23, 2003)

heh...same band, CallingLondon.

they had to change their name due to legal technicality (i.e. a motherfuckin cease and desist court order)

CallingLondon (September 23, 2003)

wasn't another band posted about on THIS website, and Brett read it and signed the band? the getaway or something, i think.

sloppyblake (September 23, 2003)

pearl jam's vitalogy(sp?) too.

THAT_GUY (September 23, 2003)

Sickboi - I understand what you mean. The same thing happened to me, even though the bands aren't alike. I think it's cause of their close signings to Epitaph.

inagreendase (September 23, 2003)

Although I liked the introduction track better when it had lyrics and was called "Tautou"

inagreendase (September 23, 2003)

You forgot to mention that they scream a LOT less...people are still calling this screamo which couldn't be farther from the truth. Better than the EP, yes, a lot more original, but I agree, the potential needs to be completely followed through on. And even with the hidden track, 'closing' w/ that song was a really stupid decision. It's still pretty cliche and has pretty derivative liner notes, and some of the songs are damn cheesy ("She'll Never Understand")...and not many people mention that their drummer is quite talented. How often he puts it to use is another story.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

i think fat mike stole brett's ability to find good bands, fat mike should give it back

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

i'm still waiting for brett to wake up and realize he signed matchbook romance to epitaph.


turdcore92383 (September 23, 2003)

We get the point. The album cover is unoriginal.

TheMarc (September 23, 2003)

Since we're on the topic, it looks like Dogwood's "Building A Better Me" as well.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

because AFI was the first to do the whole 'worn out book cover' thing with their album.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

"that cover is the exact same as Vaux - There Must Be Some Way to Stop Them."

Which is also damn similar to "Sing the Sorrow".

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

I always get this band band confused with the Motion City Soundtrack, don't ask me why.


Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

I dont care what you people say cause they are awesome. The stores havent opened yet so i dont have it yet but ive heard 2 songs from it and they are amazing. buy it.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

that cover is the exact same as Vaux - There Must Be Some Way to Stop Them.

EXACT same

crappypunk (September 23, 2003)

Great band and a very solid album. Has a few mediocre songs, but has at least 3 that more then make up for it. I've been listening to this band since they were still The Getaway, and I always thought they'd go far. I think this cd is a step in that direction for them

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

It's paint by numbers screamo, very cheezy lyrics, bad band name and title
but the production packs a punch!

I saw these guys on Warped tour
the bassist cracked me up!

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

I heard this a couple of weeks back, while I agree with Aubin's review in that it's an improvemnet from the EP,
I would much rather listen to a Finch
CD( A band that is clearly a huge influence on MBR) However, I think most 14 year old chicks that shop at Hot Topic will dig this.

I'll pass...

hungryjoe (September 23, 2003)

Cut some tiny rectangular holes in that cover, and it looks exactly like the Casket Lottery's Choose Bronze...except, well, it's red.

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