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Matchbook Romance

West for Wishing

(Epitaph; US: 8 Apr 2003; UK: 7 Apr 2003)

If Romeo and Juliet were alive today, instead of suicide they’d just write a bunch of crappy songs that would debut at 3 pm on Total Request Live. What ever happened to romance? What ever happened to that never back down, no matter how much of a geek, going to get the girl or guy spirit that dominated all those John Hughes movies from the eighties? Judging from the music being played today, our suburbs are overrun with innocent young lads who are being torn asunder by merciless young harlots intent on building them up just to turn them down. And the worst thing is that instead of doing something about it, they just write really pathetic, lame songs.

Now, I understand that heartbreak and music go hand in hand. However, there’s a difference between Otis Redding begging the heavens about how strong his love is and some loser who never got over high school wondering why he’s been dumped. You see, Otis wasn’t about to take his lady running around without a fight. So he pens unearthly songs proclaiming his love and informing her that he’s a better man. Even the Descendents, whose lead singer Milo never, ever seemed to get the girl, blamed it on the loser jocko’s in “I’m Not A Loser”. Or had the sense to realize maybe it was the girl who simply didn’t know what she was missing on “Hope”.

Bands like Matchbook Romance, they prefer to explain to the world that they have no idea why some girl would leave them. I have an idea, maybe it’s cause they write really lame songs. Maybe it’s because this whole recycling Saves the Day songs, but having some dude shriek in the background was already done by a band called Thursday, and even then it was hardly earth shattering. On Matchbook Romance’s debut EP, there are five songs that, unless you think the All American Rejects are God’s gift, most people will never have any reason for hearing. The first song, “14 Balloons”, is straightforward pop-punk, and is devoid of anything memorable. The next three tracks, “The Greatest Fall (Of All Time)”, “Hollywood and Vine”, and “Farewell to Friends” are really the same song with a few open chords in different places.

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