Stories & Alibis (Epitaph)
by Lauren Bussard
I was definitely not a fan of Matchbook Romance‘s Epitaph debut, West For Wishing; I thought it was too simplistic. But, being the kindhearted and lenient reviewer that I am, I agreed to give their second try a chance… and I am now a full-fledged convert. Whereas their last work sounded like the work of mediocre punk rockers, Stories & Alibis turns the way of Goth-punk and becomes an anthemic showcase, overflowing with echoes and intense builds that crash into choruses full of more heart-wrenching emotion than you can shake a stick at.
Every song – like my favorite, “Playing For Keeps” – mixes gorgeous melodies with just enough raucous discord to keep it interesting, kinda like AFI’s latest record and Taking Back Sunday’s debut. There’s even a melodic radio-friendly hit (“She’ll Never Understand”) that lightens the mood and practically guarantees some head-bopping, but doesn’t detract from the intensity of the rest of the album.
(2798 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026)