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Even the debatably largest punk label in the world, Epitaph, has finally broken in and accepted some more "poppier" style bands, its first being Matchbook Romance. A solid 4-piece band from New York, they play a sort of fast, energetic pop punk with a definite hardcore edge. Jammed onto this EP are 5 great songs that take what Rufio and Name Taken do (solid pop punk) and add a sort of hardcore tinge to it (an obvious modern-day example of such a blend would be Finch) and even include the usual soft emotive sound in The Greatest Fall's intro.
The Greatest Fall (Of All Time) is of course the single, first released on Atticus II, and is easily the most powerful song on the disc. With it's infectious, catchy chourus, "I set myself up for the greatest fall of all time," above the screams of another singer ala hardcore style, the song bounces from hook to hook. It's a simple, but well-crafted pop/hardcore punk tune (mostly pop). Still, most of us were anticipating the other tracks; could the band parallel the simple enjoyability found in The Greatest Fall? Hollywood and Vine and Farewell To Friends were two solid songs, with similar hooks and melodies in the vocals, and non-stop raging guitars. Constant octave guitars in the vein of Rufio, Saturday Supercade, or Staring Back without the technicalities in the guitars. More simple, but still heavy and fresh as ever.
Matchbook Romance's debut EP is a consistently hard-hitting, catchy, poppy CD with heavy chords and guitars that don't get too complicated and vocals that are non-stop catchy melodies. Imagine the construction of Staring Back in the guitars and a somewhat more muffled Kenny of the Starting Line in the vocals and add that necessary, but rare hardcore scream in the background. A great debut for a band who's bound to turn heads in the future, much in the same way as bands like Finch and A Static Lullaby are. Don't expect the almost constant hard sound of ASL or even as much as Finch, but the influences are obvious.