Album Review
The Matches - A Band in Hope Album Cover

The Matches - A Band in Hope

Reviewed by
The Matches - A Band in Hope
Record Label: Epitaph Records
Release Date: March 18, 2008
Many people did not think The Matches could create something better than Decomposer. Let me tell you my friends, there is no reason to be disappointed with their new album. After many, many listens in the past week I think I can finally give my thoughts on A Band in Hope. E. Von Dahl Killed the Locals is mainly pop punk based, and Decomposer is full of catchiness and uniqueness. A Band in Hope is randomness and rock power. It is a pure rock album. Everyone knows The Matches to be very creative and unique. If that is what you’re looking forward to with their latest effort, do not fret, because they continue to place themselves in their own category of rock music.

The first two songs are preparation for the rest of the album with catchy choruses and power bridges. The single “Wake the Sun” is next with an uplifting feeling right from the start. The harmonics throw you into the mood of the song, and you are caught right away. “To Build a Mountain” is a beautiful song musically combining acoustic guitars, perfect bass, xylophone, and the background “ah’s.” If you’ve listened to the first five or so tracks and haven’t found that in-your-face song yet, do not worry. Tracks six and seven will get you out of your seat wanting to sing “We are one” along with Shawn Harris. Things slow down for a bit, and then comes one of my favorite songs, “Between Halloweens,” which infuses new life into the album. It has quite possibly one of the best bridges I’ve ever heard, sounding very Queen influenced. You can’t help but raise your fist and scream, “She don’t deserve love, she’ll get what she’s deserving of!” The album then slopes off into three heavily pop influenced songs, but still nothing unfamiliar of The Matches.

If you’re looking for the same intensity found on Decomposer, you may be disappointed. But you should not be a fan of The Matches if you are looking for the same thing album after album. If you want a rock album that you haven’t heard before, this is it. The slow, medium, and fast paced songs all fit together. This is a rock album for the ages, an album you cannot get sick of. I noticed so many different things with each listen. Of course, this is not an album you should listen to once, then decide whether it's good or not. It took me about three or four listens before I could fully appreciate the generosity of the work. If you like The Matches, you will like this album. But don’t expect just the mere poppiness most of you are familiar with. A Band in Hope is its own album, and The Matches are becoming something greater with every album they make. Get excited for this release and what's to come in the future.

Track Listing01. AM Tilts
02. Their City
03. Wake the Sun *
04. Darkness Rising
05. To Build a Mountain *
06. We Are One
07. Point Me Toward the Morning *
08. From 24C
09. Clouds Crash
10. Between Halloweens *
11. If I Were You
12. Future Tense
13. Yankee in a Chip Shop
14. Proctor Rd.

* standout tracks

This review is a user submitted review from Merkin. You can see all of Merkin's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 19
06:59 AM on 03/16/08
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Post-me's Avatar
Somebody told me it has slow and soft songs rather than riffs songs and more rock songs, is it true?

Good review, I really want to buy it now if it'll be available in Switzerland.
12:43 PM on 03/16/08
Heroin Robot
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Heroin Robot's Avatar
just my personal opinion....this album lacks in many ways
04:29 PM on 03/16/08
welcometonormal.tumblr.co m
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demondays524's Avatar
I heard most of the songs through Myspace and enjoyed it. I might pick up this album.
08:40 AM on 03/18/08
Not that easy to confuse
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Poochemist's Avatar
Seeing as how the album comes out today, I should be picking it up very soon!
09:38 AM on 03/18/08
Registered User
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I agree, this album is amazing. I agree it is a rock album for the ages. It shouts the band's many (amazingly diverse) influences with glee but does it in the way the Beatles would have done it -- fully living up to the challenge of those influences and even improving on them, making everything fresh, and fitting a vastly divergent landscape with emotional highs and lows into an epic novel that stands as one.

I will be listening to this all year and I suspect all my life.
04:25 PM on 03/18/08
The Personist
http://davidwpritchard.tumblr.co m
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The Personist's Avatar
I actually saw more pop-punk on this than I think you make mention of; "Yankee," "If I Were You," "Point Me Toward the Morning"...all these are very much pop-punk songs. I agree with your review beyond that, and I agree that it's a fantastic album.

I think "Darkness Rising" is the best Shawn's voice ever sounded.
05:07 PM on 03/18/08
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I'd have to say that I'm disappointed in this album. There are a few redeeming songs, but overall it fell flat for me.
09:35 PM on 03/18/08
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blackrose_091's Avatar
I love the review. Made very good points. expecially how you cant expect the matches to come up with the same songs over and over.

This ablum was definitly different.
Very good.
however i loved the energy that was in Decomposer, and i missed it in this one.
06:25 AM on 03/19/08
Disprespect Your Surroundings!
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SandManTEND13's Avatar
I really do enjoy this album, I will admit this album is WAY different then decomposer. Some songs are hard to get into but I do like this album
08:12 AM on 03/19/08
Registered User
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timbokiller's Avatar
I actually saw more pop-punk on this than I think you make mention of; "Yankee," "If I Were You," "Point Me Toward the Morning"...all these are very much pop-punk songs. I agree with your review beyond that, and I agree that it's a fantastic album.

I think "Darkness Rising" is the best Shawn's voice ever sounded.

Jon sings Darkness Rising.
09:01 AM on 03/20/08
A contender now throwing the fight
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Drown_The_City's Avatar
ythis album is too all over the place
05:17 PM on 03/20/08
A City Heart instrumentalist
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dearmsleading's Avatar
you know what? on first listen i didn't get it...but i love it now. it was the same with decomposer. ive been listening to pretty much JUST a band in hope since i bought it. these songs feel like old friends now. i LOVE the danny elfman moment on darkness rising, and the queen moments on Between Halloweens. These guys deserve to be so much bigger than they are.
05:54 PM on 03/20/08
DI Pistola
tune in Tokyo
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DI Pistola's Avatar
Wasn't entirely sold on this album until I got to 24C. Completely won me over.
06:29 PM on 03/20/08
music is music
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I actually just joined right now to tell you that i feel like point me toward the morning is the most predictable and boring song on the album, reminds me of so many other songs i can barely listen to it. I love the bridge of the song but not much else. Anyway great band, not afraid to do whatever they want, and good review.

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