Matchbook Romance - West For Wishing (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Matchbook Romance

West For Wishing (2003)


Yes, this band got signed to Epitaph because of our website.

No, that does not mean we endorse them in any way.

First off, they didn't even bother to thank us in the liner notes [they better not blow that on their full length]. But besides that glaring omission, we had no input about this band being signed to the big E. Basically what happened was it was a slow news day and someone had submitted news about some Poughkeepsie, NY band called the Getaway who had new MP3s up. I posted the story, Brett Gurewitz downloaded them, the rest is history. I had never even heard the band [who have since changed their name to what you see here right now] until I got this EP in the mail a few weeks ago.

So please, if you hate this, don't blame us.

That's not to say it's terrible or anything. Matchbook Romance has talent. Matchbook Romance has potential. What Matchbook Romance doesn't have, though, is an ounce of originality in their collective bodies.

The incredibly short EP starts off with the incredibly short [one minute long, to be exact] "14 Balloons." It's my favorite track off this 5 song EP, because it's the only track off the disc that doesn't directly ape one of the band's influences [consisting mainly of a mixture of Finch and New Found Glory]. "14 Balloons," while derivative, is just a dynamite opening song, because you have no idea what to expect once it ends. But then "The Greatest Fall (Of All Time)" starts up, and you check the spine on the CD case to make sure it doesn't say "What It Is To Burn."

From there, it only slides downhill more, with each track getting progessively more generic and cookie cutter. The lyrics in "Farewell to Friends" are painfully amateur and sophomoric, and the double-bass drum chorus and terribly whiny vocal harmonies that plague "Save Yourself" make me ask myself why I haven't given this CD to my little sister yet.

I don't mean to rip on this band - I do believe they have a boatload of talent, but it just has to be sculpted more. Maybe Mr. Brett is just the man for the job. The EP's overall sound is one of almost reaching complete bombast, thanks to Gurewitz twisting the knobs. He knows how to make even the most mediocre band sound professional as all hell. But a nice guitar sound and well-timed screams does not a successful album make, and with that I must close the [match]book on this one. Keep an eye on the band for their eventual metamorphosis, but pass on this EP.

The Greatest Fall (Of All Time)

Stream the EP here