The Matches - Decomposer (Cover Artwork)

The Matches

The Matches: DecomposerDecomposer (2006)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

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

The story with the new Matches album goes like this: Not sure of their record label status, the band financed the production of Decomposer themselves and convinced a number of well-known producers to come on board and do their work for points on the album. Apparently impressed with the band's moxie .
iTunes StoreAmazon

The story with the new Matches album goes like this: Not sure of their record label status, the band financed the production of Decomposer themselves and convinced a number of well-known producers to come on board and do their work for points on the album. Apparently impressed with the band's moxie and their musical vision, folks such as Tim Armstrong, Mark Hoppus, John Feldmann, Brett Gurewitz, Mike Green, and others agreed to get involved. In the end Epitaph re-signed the band, and Decomposer is being hailed as positively having brought the hip-hop mindset of using various producers into a predominantly punk rock record. Yikes.

I'm usually a fan of bands writing cohesive full-lengths where a premium is placed on sequencing and where there is a heightened sense of value in playing a release from start to finish. Decomposer, despite its hybrid underpinnings, turns out to be a pretty comprehensive release. While the group's goofy, juvenile sense of humor remains intact, the Matches have seen their musical focus mature into something much more concrete than their prior form of bratty, loosely played, red-cup-party punk rock, and into something that balances an infectuous power-pop design with sterling dance vibes. "The gulf of quality between E. Von Dahl Killed the Locals and Decomposer fits the trajectory of a young, highly talented band, coming into its own after discovering what they're made of when given substantial access to top-shelf studio resources. Vocalist Shawn Harris is nothing but off-the-wall energy on Decomposer while drummer/percussionist Matt Whalen provides the beat-driven force that helps shape the band's reputation for being mercilessly manic. The sly incorporation of illuminating dance beats into the band's punk driven sound is where this album shines. Similar to how Less Than Jake could get an entire room full of people bouncing up and down with a simple combination of grooves and glowing choruses, the Matches work their way up the frenzy meter with a filthy amount of ease. Songs like "What Katie Said," "You (Don't) Know Me," and my personal favorite, "Shoot Me in the Smile," are endearing in a clever, cute, and smart kind of way. Despite all of the high sugar content hijinks, there's no doubt that the brains behind the Matches are well-developed.

The downside to Decomposer is that although nearly all of the 13 tracks are distinctive on their own, the compilation of them in one single recording makes for a misfit of a listen, strewn with fantastic highs, and awkward lows. Not unlike the band's own brand of zany ambition, my mind veers in all different directions while trying make sense of the album. The Matches provide an effort-filled musical challenge on their second full-length, and the listener is always a few steps behind, trying to catch-up and clean-up all of the debris. Unique and fun for sure -- but some assembly may be required.


People who liked this also liked:
The Matches - E. Von Dahl Killed The Locals [re-issue]Brand New - Deja EntenduBlink-182 - Blink 182Against Me! - As The Eternal CowboyMake Do and Mend - End Measured MileLagwagon - ResolveRaised Fist - Veil of IgnoranceParkway Drive - HorizonsThe Falcon - UnicornographyStrung Out - Agents of the Underground

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
kerrie (June 29, 2008)

best Matches albumn. love it.

imnotpunk (October 25, 2007)

i enjoyed this album alot more than i thought i would
the songs are just so fucking catchy

Anonymous (October 17, 2006)

I liked their first album much better. I love their unique style with the catchy quirky vocals and shit but I wish they would've included more pop-punk into this new album. It's more of a prog-pop with very little punk.

Anonymous (October 16, 2006)

"anything that isn't punk that is reviewed on punknews gets at least a 3"

Score is for how retarded what you just said is.

blake88 (October 16, 2006)

elton john gay who is actually building a house 5 mins from my house lol

Scruffy (October 15, 2006)

You know, you could review it and give it a one.

Anonymous (October 14, 2006)

shitty fucking album. i guess these days, anything that isn't punk that is reviewed on punknews gets at least a 3

Smithy (October 14, 2006)

Great album from a great band. Even if they do appeal to "hipster douches"!

niveK82 (October 14, 2006)

fuck this ______ (review/band/album)

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

every song on this record has at least a partial writing credit given to their 'executive producer.' what a bunch of processed garbage. get this shit out of punk rock.

dusticles (October 13, 2006)

this band blows.

ChokingVictim (October 13, 2006)

Haven't heard this album yet, however, the last album was so fucking terrible.

I seriously cannot stand this band.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

kirby is an idiot

punkinohio (October 13, 2006)

these guys are so tight live, its insane

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

great record, great guitar work, too

Scruffy (October 13, 2006)

I know one song sounds like Say Anything and another sounds like Hot hot Heat. Who are they trying to ape to get popular on the rest of the tracks?

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

I agree with kirby.

saint_nick (October 13, 2006)

saw these guys live in the spring. They had a lot of energy but no one was into it. They were entertaining, but couldnt really hear the sound well. Oh well, score is for the lead singer being cool.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

"red-cup-party punk rock,"

great line!

this album is so-so. its not terrible..some of the ideas are great, some not so great. 'little maggots' and 'what katie said' are really great and catchy songs that build on their debut album sound. but then you have fille duds like 'my soft and deep' or 'lazier than the furniture' and its just a lopsided album. same with the lyrics, some songs have great ones like 'papercut skin' and then others just make you cringe.

rarely an album has bordered on annoying and good as much as this one with me. I feel like i'm listening to the mars volta in a different way. on one hand I think its brilliant and unique on the other i think its annoying as shit and disorganized.


Dante3000 (October 13, 2006)

Hold on here:
"Decomposer is being hailed as positively having brought the hip-hop mindset of using various producers into a predominantly punk rock record. Yikes."

Who's doing that hailing? I'll be totally happy if we can keep the cluster fuck of production that is that part of Hip-Hop out of punk.
Besides some of the best Hip-Hop albums have one producer, Danger Mouse.
P.S. Think more Mad Villainy

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

can't stand this record.

kirbypuckett (October 13, 2006)

Instead of submitting my own, here an excerpt from my abandoned review:

Decomposer reinvents the Californian quartet, leaving the sound that gained them recognition behind. I thoroughly enjoyed their debut (and Epitaph re-issue) E. Von Dahl Killed the Locals, easily one of the best pop-punk records since New Found Glory‚??s self-titled album. Despite having almost ten producers the record does congeal and flows fittingly from track to track, but the quandary lies in the group‚??s lack of focus. The tires are rapidly spinning on the record, yet its progression does not. The perfect example of this stuck in the mud sound is ‚??Clumsy Heart‚?Ě ‚?? I kept tapping my feet on the floor waiting for the gauche guitars to break out. Unfortunately, my ambitions are thwarted, much like they are on the rest of the record.

Decomposer opens with the disappointing ‚??Salty Eyes‚?Ě ‚?? shedding their upbeat melodies and sugary lyrics for a grim blueprint summarizing the twelve tracks that will follow. ‚??Drive‚?Ě finds the young musicians caught in an attempt to use popular electronics to lift their song; alas it mutes what could have been an enriching power chord driven jingle. Not all of the songs fail wholly; ‚??Little Maggots‚?Ě and ‚??What Katie Said‚?Ě aligning back-to-back in the batting order, resemble a positive maturing from their previous release, but neglect to entirely grasp the thrill with forgettable lyrics. Of all the songs geared towards their new direction ‚??Lazier Than Furniture‚?Ě sticks out as a pleasing tune with its bursting guitars clashing between garage rock and rigid dance pop.

The Matches and their arsenal of producers appear more intent on escalating their sound rather than creating a firm record. Each song is crammed with an abundance of additives that used in moderation would have provided significant results. Had the Nor-Cal group been tied down to a single producer he could have aligned their focal point towards creating a stable record that properly matured their previous effort. Conversely, the onslaught of technicalities ruined a simple and promising sound.

pasha (October 13, 2006)

very good record.

Punky_Chips_Ahoy_Oi_Oi_Oi (October 13, 2006)

The Matches have a new CD out... and Mark Hoppus hasn't been able to take it out of his Escalade for weeks.

kozaihod (October 13, 2006)

I don't know, two musicwise listenable (Little Maggots, My Clumsy Heart) two musicwise quite good tracks (My Soft & Deep, Shoot Me In The Smile) are a little... to little for a 12-or-so track CD. Plus the lyrics are mostly shit.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

Liberace gay.

Sir_Tam (October 13, 2006)

*Super gay

swingline (October 13, 2006)

totally gay

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)


Exclusive Streams


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Managing Editor

Adam White

Contributing Editors

Kira Wisniewski Brittany Strummer Armando Olivas John Flynn Chris Moran John Gentile Mark Little

Copy Editor

Adam Eisenberg Britt Reiser

Podcast Producer

Greg Simpson


Aubin Paul

ISSN 1710-5366

© Copyright 1999-2013 Punknews.org

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Contact Us About Punknews.org

Other Places to Go