No Matter - Excess Baggage (Cover Artwork)

No Matter

Excess Baggage (2019)

Umlaut Records

Northern Ireland's No Matter is back with another round of timeless pop punk with Excess Baggage, released last week.

The album doesn't waste any time painting the band's authenticity with "How Long," daunting Dookie-era distorted guitar tones and imperfect, catchy, vocal hooks. "Seething" jumps right into busy single string leads and sizzling hi-hats.

"Rewrite" clocks in at just over a minute, on the backbone of a lone, heavy guitar riff that leaves the listener wanting more of, while "Watch the World" drives long verses into an addictive, high vocal hook. "Bohemian Scandal" is a cool change of pace, offering a bouncing, bass guitar intro and lead vocal duties from bassist, Cat.

The angst-reflecting vocals on "Scare-retail" pair well into the following "Lesson Learned," with the latter offering a more confident delivery. The varying of the three singer's tones and ranges are delightful, and offer a welcoming mix of classic Screeching Weasel, Ramones, or Kid Dynamite style punk rock that never tires.

The Album closes with the fastest, (and possibly best,) song, "Typical." Bassist/Singer Cat's hopeless lyrics drone wonderfully on top, opening room for a pitted half-time bridge, and a quick outro.

What is especially charming about Excess Baggage is the band's track listing choices. In a mixture of cut-time drumming to riff heavy intros, the duration of the album seems to increase in tempo as each song passes, maintaining No Matter's staple energy level. Great album.