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“FROM OUR OWN ASHES”
Album Review By Rachel Tooley
Matchstickmen are an upcoming band from Liverpool, who certainly have the determination and potential to add yet another name to the city’s long list of music icons. With Lewis Wright on vocals and piano, Peter Donnelly on guitar, Iain Forsyth on guitar and backing vocals, and Dave Hornby on the drums, we can clearly see that each band member holds a multitude of musical skills, which they have contributed into this very interesting new release ‘From Our Own Ashes’. The bands energy and enthusiasm for music has been appreciated by many audiences, they have supported a variety of bands which include Electric Six, The Quireboys, Taking Dawn, and InMe.
The ‘From Our Own Ashes’ album is a collection of different songs which have either been remastered/re-recorded, or are made as completely brand new material. The first track on the album ‘Wake Up Call’ has a very heavy start which really does wake you up and grab your attention by the hairs. The deep, butch vocals and change in tempo keep you alert and feeling invigorated. My favorite part of the track is the wrenching guitar riffs that you can hear roughly two thirds of the way through – for me, these riffs really complete the track. ‘Cheap Little Thrill’ was a great second track choice, the guitar at the start leaves you guessing which direction the song will take. The style of vocals in this track instantly gave me a slight Arctic Monkeys vibe with the mic effects, which I found really appealing. Slow vocals and a slightly faster beat leaves a great contrast in composition; it somehow works really well in one piece. The next track didn’t really appeal to me very much… I really struggled to get to grips with the beat and the rhythm of this song. This is unfortunate, as I could really sense the emotion which radiated from the vocals and the lyrics. ‘Wrong Side Of 30’ followed on which also let me down a little. Many will disagree, but personally the track just scratched the surface in terms of real, pure power; I think this could have been due to the fast nature of the track, sadly this one just didn’t stand out and ‘wow’ me. However, the next track ‘Imperfection’ brought my spirits back up. The introduction had a real 90’s Britpop feel to it – I was sensing a little Oasis vibe before the track dived into something much more metallic. The rhythm was much more aesthetic to my ears, the track really flowed and had a sense of direction and mystery, which you can truly feel running through your veins. ‘Different Paths’ was a very unexpected little gem which ran next. This lighthearted, easy listen is on a completely new level to any other track heard so far on this album. It was like the calm before the storm – it soothes your soul and takes you back into a trance of relaxation. ‘Hit By Chance’ follows on, and really whacks you in the face with the hard stuff. The contrast from the previous track sends your emotions into complete turmoil – it’s full of attitude and power. The vocals really take the lead in this track and drive you into a much darker place than you thought they could. The hypnotic introduction of ‘On The Surface’ grounds a more psychedelic atmosphere. It’s an easily digestible track which keeps your energy levels up and puts you back into a more youthful state of mind. The next track was probably the biggest shock of all to feature on this album. ‘Not Knowing’ was an unexpectedly soft and mellow track, which you would not think twice of associating with such a male dominated, rock driven band. This track shows you a completely different side to the double duo whom you think you know. The final song ‘Numb’ sums up the whole album; the style of this song stands completely in the middle of all the others and is a great one to end on.
Overall, I think the album is a really great one in terms of variety and diversity within the tracklist. It really does show the whole field of skills that the group have, which make them a really strong contender in the music industry. Clearly, some tracks appealed to me more than others, but what are your opinions? It’s certainly worth giving this album a listen and finding out for yourself.
Wake Up Call
Cheap Little Thrill
For No Reason
Wrong Side Of 30
Hit By Chance
On The Surface
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