Matchstickmen is a band from Liverpool consisting of Lewis Wright (vocals/piano), Peter Donnelly (guitar) and Iain Forsyth (bass/vocals). They are a certified rock band with a familiar style that a large demographic will appreciate. It’s anthemic with plenty of hooks and a tinge of ’90s rock.
They open with “Wake Up Call” on their release Our Own Ashes. Suffice It to say if you enjoy the first song you will enjoy the others. Don’t be too startled when the song starts. If their goals were to mimic an alarm clock it worked.
They start with the lines “This Is A Wake Up Call” without much warning. There weren't many surprises in the song but it's well-delivered and the band is in the pocket. The song comes with a standard guitar solo. A good opener which is indicative of the style the play on the remaining songs.
Up next is “Cheap Little Thrill” which has a good amount of momentum. It moves along at a feverish pace with a good amount of attitude. The band sounds somewhere between Soundgarden and Tool on “For No Reason” while “Imperfection” has an arena rock feel to it.
On “Different Paths” the band decides to lay off the distortion. This song is more or less straight up pop. It’s arguably one of the more single ready tracks on the album. As the album continued I thought the highlights were ”Not Knowing” and the closer “Numb.”
Matchstickmen to my ears have a commercial viability to them. Their style has been perfected by so many that have came before to the point of diminishing returns. In such an over saturated market Matchstickmen may have benefited from looking at different ways to separate them from the herd.
That being said there is still a hungry audience for this style of rock. Matchstickmen certainly has a cohesive sound and knows exactly what type of music they want to play. Those two things right there are nothing to scoff at.
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