March 2, 2006

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Matchbook Romance, Voices
Epitaph Records, 2006

When so many bands sound so much the same, the magnitude of scorn heaped by critics upon the latest dreary perpetration is directly proportional to the propagated relevance of the genre. Were Matchbook Romance the latest indie band to offer little more than joneses for hard drugs and whipping off their clothes one minute into a set consisting of aimless synth-aggrandized fusions of Massive Attack and (choose from Kinks, Raspberries, Floyd or Boy George), there’d be a serious chance of the boys having to invest in body armor for all the leg-humping they’d endure. As is, though, the sole defenders of mall-bitch-whipped, Thursday-xeroxing emo-screamo slop like this are suburban teen males, thus we’ll proceed: “I give up,” bawls Andrew Jordan in “Surrender.” If only that were a strategy leak rather than the comeliest daffodil their Random Glum Sentiment Generator could manage just before deadline (cue canned laughter).

C

— Eric W. Saeger