Matt and Kim - To/From (Cover Artwork)

Matt and Kim

To/From (2005)


Do you remember the first time you heard Mates of State? Do you remember the pleasant feeling you had once you gave into the novelty of a drum-'n-keys husband-'n-wife duo? Well, the same feeling applies here, and it is certainly good.

On the surface, Matt & Kim are made up of the same parts as Mates of State, but in reality, they hit much harder. On To/From, their demo/EP, the Brooklyn duo shows a lot of potential. The opening track, "Silver Tiles" begins with jumpy keys and a driving beat and breaks into a rousing chorus of "All our hope / and all our friends / through parking lots / it's where we've been." Apparent to first-time listeners, the sound is definitely of the dance-punk variety, but it's not nearly as snooty or crummy as, say, the Killers. The song itself is wonderfully crafted, but in the end, the novelty of the band ends up being the songs' (and whole EP's) only fault. The structure of the songs simply begs to be built up with more than drums and keys. The stellar track "5k" might be the only song that can swim with just the drum-'n-keys combo, although, the thrashy chorus could benefit from some guitars. The closing track, "Blazing Dynamite" almost carries itself, but ultimately would only be completed with some additional instrumentation.

The bottom line is that Matt & Kim are writing great songs. They deserve to treat themselves better than a novelty act riding the crest of a fad. I understand if they want to keep the band a family affair, but if that's the case, then they'd better make some babies and teach 'em how to play guitar and bass; this stuff's too good to let fade away.